Paris – The ‘Yellow Vests’ agitation continues to rage all over France including the French capital of Paris despite French President Emmanuel Macron having yielded to the protestors’ demand to suspend the fuel price hike. More than 10,000 protestors have taken to the streets for the fourth successive week, and the demand for the French President’s resignation is growing stronger. The nationwide protests which began with the fuel tax hike, have seen participation from teachers, students and even the police while analysts have raised the alarm over the extent of the ‘Yellow Vests’ movement becoming increasingly widespread.
A severe reaction emanated from around the country following President Macron’s imposition of the fuel tax hike. Following the resistance to it in October from some areas of France, the Yellow Vests movement directly hit the French capital of Paris. Earlier, the Macron government had ignored the agitation which began peacefully. The French government nevertheless has paid dearly for it as the extent of the unrest is increasing every week.
Last week, the protests turned violent giving rise to vandalism and arson in Paris. Roadblocks were created in many parts of the country, and transport and communications were halted. The historical monuments in France were not spared in the violence as well. The action of the French security agencies against the agitators is heavily debated. The Macron government which had threatened to impose a state of emergency subsequently took a step backwards by suspending the impending fuel price hike for six months.
The Yellow Vests protestors have proved wrong the understanding that the movement would stop after the suspension of the fuel price hike, and the extent of the agitations continue to increase in the fourth week too. The movement which was initiated against the revision of the fuel prices assumed a more comprehensive form with teachers, students and even the police joining in. At the same time, the French government is making strong preparations to quell the agitation with the help of the security agencies.
On Saturday, more than 90,000 soldiers were deployed in various parts of the country including the capital Paris, to control the agitations. These also include the 10,000 soldiers who were deployed in Paris. The security agencies began taking the protestors into custody since Saturday, and 700 demonstrators have been detained so far.
Analysts have expressed reservations at the steps taken by President Macron calling them grossly insufficient; they have also blamed his policies at the same time.