‘We hear you’: Macron to announce new measures as French support for ‘yellow vest’ rebellion grows

'We hear you': Macron to announce new measures as French support for 'yellow vest' rebellion grows
Photo: AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron is to announce new measures in a bid to take the sting out of the "yellow vest" uprising as support for the movement appears to be growing in France.
It seems the French president might be about to extend an olive branch to the gilet jaunes whose protests against rising fuel taxes and a general decline in living standards have been making international headlines this week. 
Macron, who is set to present his plan for nuclear energy in front of France's National Council for the Ecological Transition (CNTE) which is composed of elected representatives, unions, NGOs and associations on Tuesday, will also take the opportunity to announce measures to appease the “yellow vests”, according to an announcement from the Elysee released on Thursday night. 
Macron is expected to announce further financial help for French people to help them make the shift to greener cars and sources of heating – known as the “ecological transition”.
“We have received the message from citizens… In order for it to be socially acceptable, the ecological transition – which is necessary – must be fair, equitable and democratic,” said the Elysee on Thursday night, without revealing exactly what will be included in Tuesday's announcement.

Thugs, racists, anarchists or mostly ordinary folk? Who are France's 'yellow vest' protesters?Photo: AFP

In addition to showing a willingness to open up the discussion, the measures are also likely to be seen as an attempt to regain control over the nebulous protest movement which is planning to carry out several protests in the French capital on Saturday
“What we want to do is perhaps discussions, debates on the ground, where all these concerns can be expressed,” France's Minister of Ecology Francois de Rugy told France 2 on Thursday.
Macron will no doubt be particularly keen to calm the protesters as support for the movement grows among the French. 
According to a survey by pollsters Odoxa, 77 percent of French people now support the yellow vests movement and their planned protests in Paris on Saturday, representing a growth in the number of French people who believe the movement is justified 
According to the poll, 62 percent believe that the movement is not violent and more than three quarters consider it to represent solidarity and believe it is brave. 

The goal to get the government to cancel the increase in fuel taxes in January is supported by 82 percent of respondents to the Odoxa survey.  
The yellow vest movement, which first developed on social media, has grown out of anger at the price of diesel and petrol which have risen in the last year by 23 percent and 15 percent respectively.
And they want to stop the government's plan to hike fuel taxes further in January, which is part of the aim to bring taxes on diesel to the same level as petrol.

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