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Emmanuel Macron says yellow vest violence must stop as he offers 'significant' tax cuts

Macron recognised that the yellow vest movement had led to many in France feeling “anger and impatience for change” and praised its “just demands”.

Image: Yaghobzadeh Alfred/ABACA

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron today vowed to press ahead with his government’s programme and added that public order must be restored after months of protests.

“The transformations that are in progress and the transformations that are essential for our country should not be stopped,” Macron said in his first solo news conference at the Elysee Palace. 

He vowed that after almost half a year of sometimes violent yellow vest protests against his rule, “today, above all, public order will return and with it an essential accord” in French society.

Macron recognised that the yellow vest movement had led to many in France feeling “anger and impatience for change” and praised its “just demands”.

But he added that the movement had “transformed progressively” and been hijacked partly by episodes of anti-Semitic violence, attacks on journalists and homophobia. 

“But I don’t want that the actions of some people eclipse the just demands that were put forward at the start of this movement and were broadly supported,” he said.

Macron also vowed to “significantly” reduce income tax for workers in France, while defending his controversial decision to scrap a wealth tax early in his term.

“I want cuts for people who work by significantly reducing income taxes,” Macron said during a speech in which he is laying out his response to five months of anti-government protests.

On scrapping the wealth tax, he said it would be reviewed in 2020, adding: “It was a reform to stimulate production, not a present for the rich.”

© AFP 2019

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