The Yellow Vest movement has largely rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s concession speech, claiming it was an insincere “charade.”
“He is trying to do a pirouette to land back on his feet but we can see that he isn’t sincere, that it’s all smoke and mirrors,” Jean-Marc, a car mechanic told the AFP Monday.
According to local media, other French citizens described the speech as “window dressing,” “a bluff,” a “drop in the ocean,” “nonsense,” and a “charade.”
“Maybe if Macron had made this speech three weeks ago, it would have calmed the movement, but now it’s too late,” said one Yellow Vest protester. “For us, this speech is nonsense.”
The protesters said Macron’s concessions didn’t amount to much change.
“He is being held hostage so he drops some crumbs,” said a 35-year-old official.
Many protesters indicated they would continue their “Gilet Jaunes” movement.
“We’re really wound up, we’re going back to battle,” said a 55 year-old bike mechanic.
“The door is now open, we must seize the opportunity,” said Jacline Mouraud, an early leader of the protests.
Macron walked back several measures on Monday, including canceling the gas tax, raising the minimum wage, and stripping taxes for pensioners.
“Maybe in the beginning I gave you the impression that I didn’t care, but that’s not true. Maybe I hurt some of you. That was not my intention. I want to find a way to get out of this together,” he said.
“This is why I’m ordering an end-of-year bonus for all employees without any tax. How we treat you is a very important part of our nation. In 2019, you’re going to see this.”