‘Yellow Vests’ Angered by Macron’s Speech Offering Them ‘Crumbs’
The French leader’s speech of appeasement has been largely ridiculed by Yellow Vest protesters.
Protesters from France’s so called “Yellow Vest” movement have reacted indignantly to French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech, with which he has tried to quell down their recent violent rallies.
In his speech on Monday, Macron put forth a number of measures for improving France’s social imbalances, including a EUR 100 hike of the minimum monthly wage.
Over the last two weekends, France experienced its most violent protests in years. The Yellow Vest movement was originally brought about by planned energy tax hikes, and then by demands for fixing social imbalances and indignation over what is seen as the President’s elitist governance.
Immediate reactions on part of Yellow Vests across France were that Macron’s concessions were “crumbs”, “nonsense,” “a charade”, “a bluff” and “a drop in the ocean,” AFP and France24 report.
The President’s conciliatory speech was judged by many as a maneuver to defeat the protest movement’s traction.
“He is trying to do a pirouette to land back on his feet but we can see that he isn’t sincere, that it’s all smoke and mirrors,” said Jean-Marc, a car mechanic as a gathering of some 150 Yellow Vests in the southern town of Le Boulou.
“It’s just window dressing, for the media, some trivial measures, it almost seems like a provocation,” said Thierry, 55, a bicycle mechanic.
“All this is cinema, it doesn’t tackle the problems of substance. “We’re really wound up, we’re going back to battle,” he told AFP before taking part in blocking the Boulou turnpike on the French-Spanish border.
“Maybe if Macron had made this speech three weeks ago, it would have calmed the movement, but now it’s too late. For us, this speech is nonsense,” said Gaetan, 34, one of the “Rennes Lapins Jaunes” (Yellow Rabbits of Rennes).
“He is being held hostage so he drops some crumbs,” said Jonathan, a 35-year-old official, in eastern France, at the Cafe de la Paix in Commercy, where about 15 “Yellow Vests” watched Macron’s address.
“Sir feels bad,” Elisabeth, a 66-year-old retiree, said mockingly as the president acknowledged that he had “hurt some”.
“The people asked him to resign and he puts plasters on third-degree burns (…) this is total rubbish,” said Pierrot, an RSA artist in Albi, in the southern commune of Realmont, “gilets jaunes” gathered from all four corners of the department of Tarn.
“It’s a charade. He announces bonuses to be paid by employers but how will they do it? They don’t have more money,” said Luc, a pizza chef in Marseille.
Some of the Yellow Vests are, however, noted to have paid attention to “an awareness” of their problems in the presidential speech.
(Banner image: Emmanuel Macron on Twitter)