Paris cleaning up after weekend riots and over 1000 arrests Sunday.
Workers in Paris swept broken glass and towed away burnt-out cars Sunday after the latest violent “Yellow Vest” protest.
The government announced that President Emmanuel Macron, 40 anni, would address the nation sometime this week, he is now under a lot of pressure.
“You won’t make it past Christmas, Emmanuel,” read the graffiti on a boarded-up shop near the Champs Elysees.
Saturday anti-government protesters again wrecked havoc in the city for the 4th weekend running
Across the city, bank branch offices, toy shops, opticians and other retail outlets boarded up storefronts smashed by protesters, and walls were covered in anti-Macron slogans.
Mr. Macron, elected in May 2017, is facing mounting criticism for not speaking in public in more than a week as violence worsened.
The upheaval in the Christmas shopping season has dealt a heavy blow to retailing, the tourist industry and the manufacturing sector as road blocks disrupt supply chains.
At the weekend the Eiffel Tower and other monuments and museums closed their doors for security reasons, as did top department stores on what should have been a peak shopping day.
The protest movement will have “a severe impact” on the French economy, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Reuters Sunday as he toured an upmarket central Paris neighborhood that had seen heavy looting Saturday night.
“We must expect a new slowdown of economic growth at year-end due to the “Yellow Vest” protests,” Minister Le Maire said, adding that he would provide more details in coming days.
Prior to the protests, economists had been expecting growth to pick up after a weak 1-H of this year as tax cuts aimed at boosting purchasing power took effect.
The government this week canceled a planned rise in taxes on petrol and diesel in a bid to defuse the situation but the protests have morphed into a broader anti-Macron rebellion.
In the center of the Place de Republic, a banner hanging from the bronze statue of Marianne, symbol of the French republic, read: “Give back the money.”
Mr. Macron’s last major address to the nation was on Nov 27, when he said he would not be bounced into changing policy by “thugs.”
“The President of the Republic will … make important announcements,” government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on LCI television on Sunday. He gave no other details about the timing, content or format of the speech.
“However, not all the problems of the ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters will be solved by waving a magic wand,” he said.
Yellow Vest protesters demand lower taxes, higher minimum wages and better pension benefits. But, mindful of France’s deficit and not wanting to flout EU rules, Mr. Macron has scant wriggle room for more concessions.
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