President Trump has broken his silence on the protests which continue to ravage the streets of Paris.
For more than five weeks, thousands of protestors have piled onto the streets of Paris, forming mobs, attacking law enforcement, throwing rocks, and starting fires in open defiance of a government the protestors claim have abandoned them.
“The ‘gilets jaunes’ (‘yellow vests’) crisis started as a demonstration against a carbon tax policy and planned fuel tax increases, but have morphed into wider discontent at the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron,” CNBC reports.
Trump addressed the issue briefly in a tweet where he said he was surprised the Fed was considering hiking the interest rate “with a very strong dollar.”
“It is incredible that with a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation, the outside world blowing up around us, Paris is burning and China way down, the Fed is even considering yet another interest rate hike,” Trump said in a tweet on Monday.
“Take the Victory!” the president added.
The French people have taken to the streets for a fifth straight week to protest their government and, as Reuters reports, the protests have extended outside of Paris and have affected other parts of the country. Here’s more:
In Paris, police were out in force to contain outbursts of violence. But the demonstrations were noticeably smaller than in previous weeks, possibly a response to the Strasbourg attack or to the cold, rainy weather.
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Police fired water cannon and teargas in the afternoon to disperse groups of protesters in sporadic, brief clashes with riot police on the Champs-Elysees and adjacent streets.
Topless feminist activists braved the cold to face off with security forces, a few meters away from the Elysee Palace, the president’s residence.
And French media showed footage of clashes between police and protesters in Nantes, western France, and further south in Bordeaux and Toulouse.
Despite the reoccurring protests, Macron has not indicated any intention to resign and the French parliamentary system “makes it extremely difficult to remove a President from office,” said the Deputy Director of Research at Teneo Intelligence, CNBC reports.
“The only political tool available to the opposition to expel Macron is the constitution’s impeachment procedure, which no one is currently considering,” he added.
Here’s more, from the Associated Press:
French President Emanuel Macron called Friday for calm as authorities prepared to deploy armored vehicles and thousands of security forces for a possible fifth-straight weekend of violent protests on the streets of Paris.
The “yellow vest” movement, which began its demonstrations Nov. 17 initially to protest an increase in fuel taxes, soon morphed into an expression of rage about the high cost of living in France and a sense that Macron’s government is detached from the everyday struggles of workers.
Macron acknowledged in a speech earlier this week that he’s partially responsible for the anger displayed by the “yellow vest” protesters — whose movement takes its name from the safety garb that all French motorists must carry. He has announced measures aimed at improving workers’ spending power. But he has so far refused to reinstate a wealth tax that was lifted to spur investment in France.
In the speech, Macron said: “I don’t think our democracy can accept to function with a dialogue that is carried out only with the occupation of the public domain, only by elements of violence.”