Left Menu
Development News Edition

Yellow Champs Elysees: French fuel protestors to lay siege to Paris


Yellow Champs Elysees: French fuel protestors to lay siege to Paris

Workmen erected metal barriers and plywood boards on the glass-fronted facades of restaurants and boutiques lining the Champs Elysees on Friday ahead of a second demonstration in the French capital by protesters angry at high fuel prices.

For more than two weeks, the "yellow vests" have blocked roads across France in a spontaneous, popular rebellion against diesel tax hikes and the high cost of living. It has grown into one of the largest and most stubborn challenges Emmanuel Macron has faced in his 18-month-old presidency.

A week ago thousands of protesters, who have no leader and have largely organised themselves online, converged on Paris for the first time, turning the Champs Elysees into a battlezone as they clashed with police firing tear gas and water canon.

For now, the "yellow vests" -- who take their name from the high-visibility jackets all motorists in France must carry in their vehicles -- enjoy widespread public support.

"I completely agree with the protesters," said one shopper on the Champs Elysees who identified herself only as Brigitte. "It's regrettable to see measures being taken against possible damage, but I support the movement."

When they began, the protests caught Macron off-guard just as he was trying to counter a plunge in popularity, with his approval at barely 20 percent. His unyielding response has exposed him to charges of being out of touch with common folk.

The outburst of anti-establishment anger is strongest in rural villages, provincial towns and sprawling city outskirts, and mirrors the disconnect between urban elites and alienated voters that has spurred the rise of populist forces across Europe, in the United States and in Britain's Brexit vote.

NO BACKING DOWN

Meeting French expatriates in Buenos Aires ahead of a G20 summit, Macron said he understood the "legitimate anger, impatience and suffering of people who wanted to live better" but said there would be no about-turn in policy direction.

"It will fall on me to take additional steps in the weeks and months to come, but they will never be a step backwards," said the 40-year-old former investment banker.

The "yellow vests" have also inspired protests next door in Belgium, where on Friday demonstrators hurled rocks at the prime minister's office.

France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the Champs Elysees would be closed to traffic, and pedestrians would be funnelled through checkpoints. Several thousand police officers will be deployed along the two-kilometre avenue. (Reporting by Lucien Libert and Richard Lough; Editing by Luke Baker and Peter Graff)

(With inputs from agencies.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

Videos

Latest News

Raiders TE Moreau (knee) out for season

Oakland Raiders rookie tight end Foster Moreau will miss the rest of the season after sustaining a knee injury in Sundays 42-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans, head coach Jon Gruden announced Monday. Its a big loss to our team, no doubt, Grud...

India predicted to beat US, China in next digital race, according to GVG

 By 2030, India could produce 8 digital giantslike Amazon in US retail or Tencent in Chinese mediain massive markets such as health, food, retail, financial services, consumer products, real estate, logistics and telecom because of wor...

UPDATE 1-J&J CEO spurns U.S. congressional hearing on carcinogens in talc products

Johnson Johnson Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky has declined to appear at a U.S. congressional hearing set for Tuesday on the safety of the companys Baby Powder and other talc-based cosmetics. In an announcement, the House of Represent...

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares edge lower as investors await tariff deadline

Asian equity markets were a tad lower on Tuesday as investors refrained from making major bets before Dec. 15, when the next round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports is due to take effect. A Chinese Commerce Ministry official said on Monday...

Give Feedback