French Leftist Party unbowed leader expects ‘yellow vests’ protests to continue

Large-scale protests of the “yellow vest” movement will continue across France, leader of the leftist party France Unbowed and former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon said on Monday.

“In the face of the large-scale indignation [by French people] against the fact that some have everything and others have nothing, the president thinks that distribution of money will be enough to calm the current stormy outrage of the people… The fifth action of the civil revolution in the country next Saturday will be a time of great mobilization of the people,” Melenchon said on Twitter, commenting Macron’s appeal.

He noted that the president’s statements contained nothing related to the unemployed, part-time working people, pensioners, civil servants, and students.

“The people will pay for everything that Macron has announced; the rich will not pay anything,” Melenchon concluded.

Benoit Hamon, another former presidential candidate and the leader of the Generation leftist political movement, in turn, has also condemned Macron’s policy as benefiting the rich.

Hamon has also called on the French to continue mobilization to ensure a real transformation а the country’s development model.

On Monday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an TV address to the nation that he declared a state of economic and social emergency in the country in response to the protests. He also asked the government to introduce a number of measures aimed at resolving the social and economic crisis in the country that provoked a wave of protest actions. In particular, Macron promised to increase the minimum wage, presented a measure of support for pensioners earning less than 2,000 euros per month, and asked the companies to pay an annual bonus to employees.

The yellow vest rallies, which initially opposed the increase in gasoline prices, began on November 17. They have been marked by violent clashes with police officers, who have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protesters.

In late 2017, the French government approved the decision to raise direct tax on diesel fuel, which is the most popular type of fuel in the country. The diesel prices in France have risen by around 23 percent since the beginning of the year, while the gasoline prices have gone up by 15 percent. Prices are set to increase further in January.