Yellow Vest protesters erect a GUILLOTINE bearing Macron’s party name
Yellow Vest protesters erect a GUILLOTINE bearing French President’s political party name amid revolt that will force Macron to address the nation tonight
- Yellow Vest protesters erected the guillotine bearing the slogan En Marche! in a threat to Emmanuel Macron
- The move came after another weekend of rioting swept France, leaving dozens hurt and hundreds in custody
- Macron, who has already made ‘humiliating’ concessions, is expected to go further in a TV address tonight
The guillotine carried the name of ‘En Marche!’ – the party of under-fire President Emmanuel Macron
Yellow Vest protesters in Paris erected a guillotine bearing the name of Emmanuel Macron’s political party in a direct threat to the under-fire French President.
The move came as the country’s finance minister warned the violent protests sweeping the country are a ‘catastrophe’ for the nation’s economy.
The demonstrators torched cars, vandalised and looted shops and restaurants, and hurled stones in a fourth weekend of protests in Paris.
Riot police fought back with tear gas, water cannon and baton charges, leaving 71 people injured in the French capital.
The shocking guillotine footage, which was filmed in an unknown location in France, emerged as Macron prepared to meet trade unionists and rival politicians before addressing the country at 8pm tonight.
And his finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, yesterday warned that the Yellow Vest protests will have ‘a severe impact’ on the economy.
‘It’s a catastrophe for commerce, it’s a catastrophe for our economy,’ the finance minister said. ‘We must expect a new slowdown of economic growth at year-end due to the protests.’
The protesters, who take their name from the fluorescent safety vests that French drivers are legally obliged to carry, have wreaked havoc on retailers and the tourism industry.
Department stores, museums and monuments including the Eiffel Tower had to close. The interior ministry said 136,000 people took part in Saturday’s anti-government protests, and more than 1,700 were arrested, with Paris seeing more damage than last week. Protests also took place in Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux.
Emmanuel Macron is set to make a grovelling speech today and announce further tax concessions in a bid to calm the anger that has gripped the country.
The 40-year-old French president, elected in May last year, has faced mounting criticism for remaining holed up in his presidential palace, protected by armoured cars. He has also been criticised for not speaking in public for almost two weeks.
On November 27, Mr Macron said he would not be pushed into changing policy by ‘thugs’. But in a humiliating U-turn last week, he scrapped planned fuel increases and froze energy prices.
The protesters are demanding a wide range of changes including lower taxes, higher minimum wages, better pension benefits, and Mr Macron’s resignation.
Meanwhile footage shot at the weekend showed one of the ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters had his hand blown off after reportedly trying to pick up a grenade in Bordeaux, while a woman in Paris lost an eye during violent clashes last night.
The device detonated when the man tried to pick it up in order to throw it back, the city’s deputy public prosecutor Olivier Etienne confirmed, Sud Ouest reports.
But no further details have been released about the man’s identity or his current condition.
The man can be seen running towards the camera holding up the bleeding stump at the end of his right arm in a graphic video, which has since been removed from Facebook.
Another video was later posted by France3 Aquitaine that showed the man on a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance by paramedics.
Meanwhile, a video surfaced on social late Saturday night that showed a woman on the ground and bleeding from her eyes as others tend to her amid the protests in Paris.
Cities including Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux exploded into violence on Saturday, during the fourth weekend of demonstrations in a row by Yellow Vest protesters.
Burned-out cars dotted the streets in several neighbourhoods in Paris on Sunday morning as cleaners swept up the broken glass from smashed shop windows and bus stops.
An injured Yellow Vest rioter is arrested and held by French CRS Police after clashed with rioters at Place de la Republique in Paris on Saturday
Riot police run next to a car set on fire during a Yellow Vest protest on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on Saturday
A French ‘Yellow Vest’ protester lost a hand after trying to pick up a grenade during clashes in Bordeaux at the weekend
Throughout Saturday, Macron skulked behind the majestic walls of his presidential palace in Paris while outside, his city – and his country – once again erupted in fury.
Across the entire country, some 1,220 people were taken into custody, the Interior Ministry said yesterday – a roundup the scale of which the country hasn’t seen in years.
Yesterday, the highly influential Parisien newspaper reported that ‘after eight days of silence, the head of state’ has told supporters ‘he will speak on Monday night on television to respond to the angry French.’
Macron will not appear ’empty handed’ but will instead make further concessions in regards to tax, it added.
Cities including Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux exploded into violence during the fourth weekend of demonstrations in a row by Yellow Vest protesters. Pictured, Paris on Saturday night
Protesters seen amid the tear gas smoke on the Champ Elysees near the Arc De Triomphe during anti-government protests on Saturday night
He has already been pilloried for abandoning green taxes on diesel and petrol in response to the early rioting, but is set to cave in further.
‘There are too many taxes, too many taxes, too much taxation in this country,’ Macron told MPs in a private meeting on Friday, the Parisien reports.
Macron’s ‘mea culpa’ included him admitting that he appeared too arrogant and out-of-touch, and he will address such concerns on a national TV channel.
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Macron’s spokesman said he is set to make a major announcement early in the coming week, but gave no details about timing or about what Macron could announce.
‘The President of the Republic will of course make important announcements,’ government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on LCI television on Sunday.
‘However, not all the problems of the ‘yellow vest’ protesters will be solved by waving a magic wand.’
He added: ‘It is clear that we underestimated people’s need to make themselves heard.’
Fierce winds and rain pummeled Paris on Sunday, complicating the effort to clean up tear gas canisters and debris left by protesters’ fires and looting.
Thousands had chanted ‘Macron Resign’ and ‘Police Everywhere – Justice Nowhere’ as they rampaged throughout the centre of the French capital.
Weapons used by the thugs included Molotov Cocktails, gas cannisters, flash ball guns, baseball bats, and petanque balls used as missiles.
Most tourist attractions were shut, including the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, which was ransacked during riots a week ago. They reopened yesterday.
Saturday’s protests were a direct blow to Macron, who made a stunning retreat last week and decided to abandon the fuel tax rise that initially prompted the yellow vest protest movement a month ago.
The turnaround was a humbling moment for Macron, who last month declared nationalism a ‘betrayal’ of patriotism, as well as the opponents of the populism spreading across parts of Europe.
Yet it did nothing to cool tempers of the ‘gilets jaunes,’ the nickname for crowds wearing the fluorescent yellow vests that all French motorists must keep in their cars.
The disparate movement now has other demands, from taxing the rich to raising the minimum wage to having the 40-year-old Macron, a former banker and economist, hand in his resignation.
The Yellow Vests said their protests would continue indefinitely as they campaign for even more tax reductions. There have been calls for a State of Emergency to be announced, and for the Army to take to the streets.
Elected in May 2017 on a promise to revitalise the sluggish French economy, Macron had previously vowed not to be swayed by mass protests like his predecessors.
But he announced a climbdown on the hated fuel tax rise last week, and further concessions appear to be on the cards.
So far, Macron has refused to back down on another policy that is deeply unpopular among the “yellow vests”: his decision to scrap a tax on assets for France’s richest.
Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud on Sunday also rejected the idea of an increase in the minimum wage – a demand from many protesters who say they are barely scraping by.
“We know that destroys jobs,” Penicaud said.
“If we raise all salaries automatically, many businesses would just go bust – or they would have to raise their prices, and no one would pay for their services.”
With an estimated 136,000 people taking part nationwide last weekend, the protests have shown little sign of easing since they began.
The protesters overwhelmingly hail from rural and small-town France but have a range of different goals – from lower taxes to Macron’s resignation – making his attempted negotiations with them all the more difficult.
President Emmanuel Macron is to deliver an apologetic address on television and announce further tax cuts today
People stand near a burnt vehicle on a tow truck on Friedland avenue in Paris, where more than 1,000 people were arrested on Saturday
A woman walks past burnt scooters on quai d’Orsay in Paris, after Saturday’s protests saw more than 1,000 people arrested om the capital
A burnt news stand is seen in Paris on Sunday, the day after clashes during a national day of protest by the ‘yellow vest’ movement
Graffiti is seen on a vandalised Starbucks coffee shop with broken store front windows the day after clashes in Paris
The interior of a vandalised Starbucks coffee shop in Paris is seen from the street the day after violence erupted in the capital
Graffiti is written on the facade of a building the day after clashes during a national day of protest. Some of the messages read, ‘The People’s Rage’ and ‘The World is Ours’
A vandalised truck is seen on Sunday after violence erupted in the French capital during the fourth weekend of demonstrations in a row by Yellow Vest protesters
Workers put wooden wall to protect the drugstore publicis in Paris, on Sunday. More than 1,700 people were arrested across France during the latest ‘yellow vest’ protests against rising living costs
Protesters help an injured man near the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris during the latest violent Yellow Vest protest on Saturday
A protester is arrested and held by French CRS Police after clashed with rioters at Place de la Republique in Paris on Saturday
Rioters clash with the French Police at Place de la Republique in Paris, France. The ‘Yellow Vest’ protests have wrecked Paris and other French cities for nearly a month, as the movement – inspired by opposition to a new fuel tax – has absorbed a wide range of anti-government sentiment
A fireman extinguishes a burning bicycle during clashes with yellow vests protesters as part of a national day of protest by the ‘yellow vests’ movement in Paris, France
A protester waves a French flag during clashes with police at a demonstration by the ‘yellow vests’ movement in Paris
A protester wearing a yellow vest stands next to burning trash bins in a street during clashes with police in Paris, France
A view of the Place de la Republique as protesters wearing yellow vests gather during a national day of protest in Paris
A woman is sprayed with teargas by the riot police officer in Brussels as the French protest movement spread to neighbouring Belgium
Belgian police face protestors during a copycat ‘yellow vest’ demonstration rocking neighbouring France in Brussels on Saturday
Protesters wearing yellow vests during a protest near European institutions headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Saturday
A protester is sprayed by police during a demonstration in Brussels, Saturday. Hundreds of police officers were mobilised in Brussels on Saturday, where yellow vest protesters last week clashed with police and torched two police vehicles
Protestors wearing ‘yellow vests’ demonstrate in the centre of The Hague, The Netherlands, on Saturday. – The so-called ‘gilets jaunes’ (yellow vests) protest movement, which started in France, is protesting against rising oil prices and living costs
A car burns during clashes with police at a demonstration of the ‘yellow vests’ movement in Marseille, France, on Saturday
Protesters wearing a yellow vest (gilet jaune) stand next to a burning barricade, during a demonstration against rising costs of living they blame on high taxes in Toulouse, southern France, on Saturday
French police forces stand close to a burning car near Avenue Marceau, during the demonstration in Paris on Saturday
A car burns during a protest of ‘yellow vests’ protests against rising costs of living near Paris City Hall on Saturday
Police officers in riot gear walk forward carefully past a flare lying on the ground during a protest against rising costs of living they blame on high taxes in Nantes, eastern France on Saturday
French policemen pose for a photograph on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, following the protests on Saturday
Burnt motorbikes are seen in the middle of a street in Paris on the sidelines of a demonstration that turned violent on Saturday
In the Netherlands, about 100 protesters gathered in a peaceful demonstration outside the Dutch parliament in The Hague. Pictured, protesters wearing yellow vests demonstrate in Maastricht
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