After days of silence amid riots by the Yellow Vests over his unpopular policies, French President Macron took a scolding tone when he finally addressed his people in a statement Monday.
“There was legitimate claims, however, there was a chain of inadmissible violence, and I’m here to talk about it,” Macron said from the Élysée Palace. “I won’t forget that there’s anger, there’s worry, there’s indignation – all of us, or most of us in France feel it. However, I cannot accept the unacceptable behavior that took place.”
“The anger was about the gas tax and the Prime Minister responded to that by cancelling the gas tax. However, I feel the anger. Give us another chance. Give a chance to the couple that needs to wake up in the morning to travel for a couple of hours to work far away from their home. Give the single mother a chance to make ends meet. We have to take into account the retired who have worked all their lives and cannot make ends meet.”
Macron then tried to reconcile with his people by offering all workers end-of-year bonuses tax-free, presumably by driving up France’s debt.
“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.”
“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.”
But Macron also rejected the measure to increase taxes for the rich, saying it would drive rich companies out of France.
“Some of you want me to come back and revisit the fortune tax. However, this has caused the richer companies to depart our country and we have suffered from this measure tremendously. Going backward will make us weaker and we will lose jobs in every sector.”
Colleagues from across the political spectrum criticized Macron over the weekend for hiding away in the Élysée Palace while Paris was burning, including political rival Marine Le Pen and socialist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon.
President Trump also criticized the Paris Climate Accord, noting the French people weren’t responding positively to its dictates.
“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting ‘We Want Trump!’ Love France,” he tweeted Saturday.
The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting “We Want Trump!” Love France.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2018