Sunday 9 December 2018

Macron Is To Give 'I'm Sorry' TV Address As He Unveils More Tax Cuts After 'Day of Rage' Violence In France Saw 1,400 Arrested, Dozens Injured And Cars Burnt Out As 'Yellow Vest' protests spread across Europe

Macron is to give 'I'm Sorry' TV address as he unveils more tax cuts
President Emmanuel Macron is to deliver an apologetic address on television and announce further tax cuts following a day of violent protests across the country on Saturday. Cities including Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux exploded into violence on Saturday, during the fourth weekend of demonstrations in a row by Yellow Vest protesters. Throughout Saturday, Macron skulked behind the majestic walls of his presidential palace in Paris while outside, his city - and his country - once again erupted in fury. 

Protesters smashed store windows and set fires around Paris and clashed with police, who fired tear gas throughout the day in the French capital. 

The country is bracing for yet more protests after Saturday's 'yellow vest' demonstrations and rioting saw 1,000 people arrested and at least 71 injured in the capital. 

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said 17 police officers were among the injured and that 'exceptional' security measures allowed police to put nearly 1,000 people in custody in Paris last night. 

Across the entire country, some 1,220 people were taken into custody, the Interior Ministry said Sunday - a roundup the scale of which the country hasn't seen in years. 

On Sunday, the highly influential Parisien newspaper reported that 'after eight days of silence, the head of state' has told supporters 'he will speak on Monday night on television to respond to the angry French.' 

Macron will not appear 'empty handed' but will instead make further concessions in regards to tax, it added.
An injured Yellow Vest rioter is arrested and held by French CRS Police after clashed with rioters at Place de la Republique in Paris on Saturday

He has already been pilloried for abandoning green taxes on diesel and petrol in response to the early rioting but is set to cave in further.

'There are too many taxes, too many taxes, too much taxation in this country,' Macron told MPs in a private meeting on Friday, the Parisien reports.

Macron's 'mea culpa' included him admitting that he appeared too arrogant and out-of-touch, and he will address such concerns on a national TV channel.

Macron's spokesman said he is set to make a major announcement early in the coming week, but gave no details about timing or about what Macron could announce.

'The President of the Republic will, of course, make important announcements,' government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on LCI television on Sunday.

'However, not all the problems of the 'yellow vest' protesters will be solved by waving a magic wand.'

Senior allies of Macron said on Friday that the president would address the nation early in the coming week.  

Macron broke his silence on Saturday to tweet appreciation for the police, but pressure mounted on Sunday on him to propose new solutions to calm the anger dividing France.  

He has already scrapped a planned fuel tax increase but the move has failed to end the 'yellow vest' protest movement, which demands lower taxes, higher minimum wages and better pension benefits.

Saturday's protests saw more than 1,000  arrests in Paris alone, while the national figure stood at 1,723. 

Casataner estimated there were 10,000 yellow vest protesters in Paris on Saturday, among some 125,000 protesters around France. The number of injured in Paris and nationwide was down Saturday from protest riots a week ago. 

Police and protesters also clashed in other French cities, notably Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux, and in neighboring Belgium. 

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