MACRON RIOTS: France in flames as Yellow Vests launch BLACK TUESDAY protest

France Yellow Vest protest: President Macron vows HUGE €100 pay rise | Daily Star

Macron to speed up tax cuts, raise wages after protests

French President Emmanuel Macron poses before a special address to the nation, his first public comments after four weeks of nationwide "yellow vest" protests, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.

Macron went on to add that, "calm and the Republican Order must prevail" and noted that he understood the anger of the protesters in contrast to those committing violence who he described as having legitimate anger over and have "no hope" due to their financial situations where many are struggling to get by.

'We will respond to the economic and social urgency with strong measures, by cutting taxes more rapidly, by keeping our spending under control, but not with U-turns, ' he said during the national address.

Even so, the measures might not mollify enough protesters to call off road blockades and weekly demonstrations in Paris which have seen fierce clashes with police and extensive burning and looting over the past two Saturdays.

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced his government will increase the minimum wage and not tax overtime work from 2019 - but he will not reinstate a tax on the wealthy.

"I know some of you have been hurt by my words".

In his last speech on November 27, Macron said "I understand this rancor.What has been said needs to be heard more deeply, society needs solutions.", refusing "to set up a two-speed France where the most modest will have to pay more".

The planned fuel tax increases sparked particular anger among French blue-collar workers and rural residents.

The new measures, including a 100-euro jump in the minimum wage next year, are expected to cost up to 11 billion euros - and are likely to put France on a collision course with the EU.

"It doesn't solve the problem", a protester in a yellow vest, Alain Bouche, told BFM television from a yellow-vest roadblock southwest of Paris.

Dozens of angry protesters, many of them wearing gas masks or ski goggles, threw rocks and projectiles at French police.

But Macron refused to budge on his massive cut to the government's "wealth tax", which he introduced a year ago, cutting the taxes of the richest French households by 70 percent.

Emmanuel Macron has broken his silence on the protests shaking France and his presidency, promising broad tax relief for struggling workers and pensioners and acknowledging his own responsibility in fuelling the nation's anger.

Mr Macron declared an "economic and social state of emergency", ordering the government and parliament to take immediate steps to change tax rules and other policies that hit the wallets of working class French people.

"We are monitoring the potential new measures announced, but we can not comment until they are properly announced and detailed", said Valdis Dombrovskis, the commissioner for the euro.

There have been more than 1,700 arrests amid the riots. But he has appeared out determined to continue trying to make the French economy more competitive globally.

With an estimated 136,000 people taking part nationwide last weekend, the protests have shown little sign of easing since they began.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that the rallies had a "severe" impact on business and might cut fourth-quarter growth by 0.1 percent ($70 billion).

According to the Interior Ministry's figures, 2,000 individuals had been detained countrywide, with 1,700 remaining in police custody.

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