After ten days of unparalleled protests, the yellow vests (gilets jaunes) were looking forward to what President Macron would propose to them in return. Even though he acknowledged the widespread anger over fuel taxes, the French president surprisingly refused to back down from his environmentally friendly policies.
French President Emmanuel Macron shockingly stuck to his guns and said he won't "change course" amid the country-wide "yellow vest" protests. Although he acknowledged the widespread anger regarding fuel taxes over the past 10 days, Mr Macron said he will continue making environmentally friendly policies.
"What I've taken from these last few days is that we shouldn't change course because it is the right one and necessary," he said. "We need to change how we work because a number of our citizens feel this policy course is imposed on them from above."
Related coverage: France - ‘Yellow Vests’ Plan Paris Blockade, Demand Macron’s Resignation
The French government had in the past few days admitted that the increase in diesel tax, which kicked in just as prices were rising, inflicted more damage than anticipated. Macron said that fuel taxes would be adjusted to take account of sharp rises in world oil prices.
"We need to change how we work because a number of our citizens feel this policy course is imposed on them from above," he said.
'Won't give in to destruction and disorder'
Macron condemned the violence seen over the weekend as the protests, which have involved hundreds of thousands of people donning yellow vests carried in all French vehicles for use in case of a traffic accident or vehicle break-down, descended into rioting in the capital Paris.
"I understand the demands of these citizens, but I won't give in to those who want destruction and disorder," he said, referring to the burning of vehicles on the Champs Elysées and the rocks thrown at police forces.
So far, two people have been killed and 606 injured since the protests began.
Just last weekend, some 100,000 people continued the protest, including hundreds who gathered on the Champs-Elysees in Paris carrying signs that read "Macron, thief!" and "Macron, resign!"
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