With Meghna Chakrabarti
France rocked by violent demonstrations against a fuel tax hike and economic woes. Will President Emmanuel Macron’s promise of relief be enough?
Richard Lough, deputy Paris bureau chief for Reuters. (@loughrichard)
Laura Haim, former campaign spokesperson for President Macron. (@lauhaim)
Mark Vail, professor of political science at Tulane University (@TulaneNews). Author of "Liberalism in Illiberal States: Ideas and Economic Adjustment in Contemporary Europe" and "Recasting Welfare Capitalism: Economic Adjustment in Contemporary France and Germany."
From The Reading List
CBS News: "Paris riots set to continue as French leader fails to appease protesters" — "President Emmanuel Macron's attempt to quell violent rioting across France by offering economic concessions to his countrymen — expected to cost the country $11 billion — appears to have been insufficient. Leaders of the 'Yellow Vest' protest movement indicated Tuesday that Macron's offers were not enough, as hundreds of students staged a 'Black Tuesday' of protests over Macron's education policies and voiced solidarity with the Yellow Vests.
"Macron took to the national airwaves to address the spiraling crisis for the first time on Monday. He announced an increase in the minimum wage, tax cuts for retirees and other concessions aimed at calming the streets.
"But CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reported on Tuesday morning from Paris that another day of Saturday demonstrations — the mass-protests which have been seized upon by extremists of all stripes for four weeks in a row — still appeared on the cards.
"A leader of the Yellow Vest movement indicated that the demonstrations would go ahead. Christophe Chalencon, a blacksmith from southern France who has become a leader of the protest movement, told the Reuters news agency that Macron's peace offering was not enough"
Reuters: "'Yellow vest' protests stunt French growth, Macron under pressure" — "The anti-government protests convulsing France will slow growth to close to a standstill in the final quarter, the central bank said on Monday, complicating President Emmanuel Macron’s task of finding concessions to placate the 'yellow vest' movement.
"The Bank of France on Monday forecast the euro zone’s number two economy would eke out growth of only 0.2 percent in the quarter from the previous three months, down from 0.4 percent in a previous estimate.
"Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire declined to give an estimate for 2018 growth but forecast the nationwide tumult would trim 0.1 percent of a point off of national output. His deputy projected growth would round out 'closer to 1.5 percent.' "
New York Times: "Macron, Confronting Yellow Vest Protests in France, Promises Relief" — "Faced with violent protests and calls for his resignation, President Emmanuel Macron of France said Monday that he had heard the anger of the many whose economic suffering has burst into the open in recent weeks and that he would take immediate steps to relieve their hardship.
"Mr. Macron’s mea culpa on national television signaled a remarkable step back from his ambitions to reshape France’s economy and become the European Union’s foremost leader. For now, his chief goal is shoring up his own political support in France.
"He announced tax cuts and income increases for the struggling middle class and working poor, vowing to raise the pay of workers earning the minimum wage. He promised to listen to the voices of the country, to its small-town mayors and its working people.
"'There is anger, anger and indignation that many French share,' he said in 13-minute prerecorded speech from the Elysée, the presidential palace."
BBC: "France yellow vest protests: Macron promises wage rise" — "France's President Emmanuel Macron has promised a minimum wage rise and tax concessions in response to weeks of violent protests.
"France has seen four weekends of violent protests against fuel tax rises, living costs and other issues.
"Speaking in a televised address, Mr Macron condemned the violence but said the protesters' anger was 'deep, and in many ways legitimate.'
"The minimum wage would increase by €100 per month from 2019, he said.
"A planned tax increase for low-income pensioners would be cancelled, overtime pay would no longer be taxed, and employers would be encouraged to pay a tax-free end of year bonus to employees, he added."
Anna Bauman produced this hour for broadcast.
This program aired on December 12, 2018.