‘Yellow vests’ protests witness drop in number of demonstrators

Paris: The ‘yellow-vests’ protests that continued for the fifth consecutive weekend saw a dip in the number of demonstrators here on Saturday after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of financial measures on Monday seeking to defuse the revolt that had triggered violent protests across the country.

South China Morning Post cited the data released by the French Interior Ministry and reported that only a few hundred people took to streets for the demonstration, equivalent to half the total number of protestors gathered at the French capital last weekend.

Meanwhile, the police gathered to control the mob at the French capital outnumbered the demonstrators by nearly 4-1 in the afternoon. Few incidents of firing tear gas were reported which amounted to only a fraction of that used on the previous weekends.

On Monday (December 10), the French President rolled out “an economic and social emergency plan” which involves an increase in minimum wages and tax cut.
Xinhua quoted Macron, who in a televised speech from the Elysee Palace, said, “I accept my share of responsibility for the crisis.”

“I had heard the anger and indignation of the people and accepted that the French authorities have not been able to properly respond to the demands of the people for almost a year and a half. I take my share of responsibility,” he added.

Promising on a quick response, the French President highlighted that the minimum wage of the people would be hiked by 100 euros (or USD 113.52) per month as of January 2019, without any benefit to the employers.

Macron also revised the tax rates for the people who work for overtime hours, pensioners and the bonus offered to workers at the year-end.