January 7, 2019
Emmanuel Macron intended to start the new year on the offensive against the ‘yellow vest’ protesters. Instead, the French president is reeling from more violent street demonstrations.
What began as a grassroots rebellion against diesel taxes and the high cost of living has morphed into something more perilous for Macron – an assault on his presidency and French institutions.
The anti-government protesters on Saturday used a forklift truck to force their way into a government ministry compound, torched cars near the Champs Elysees and in one violent skirmish on a bridge over the Seine punched and kicked riot police officers to the ground.
The French authorities’ struggle to maintain order during the weekend protests raises questions not just over policing tactics but also over how Macron responds, as he prepares to bring in stricter rules for unemployment benefits and cut thousands of public sector jobs.
This article was posted: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 6:45 am