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  • Protesters hold a banner saying 'Yellow Vests eastern side coordination' in Strasbourg, France, April 27, 2019.

    Protesters hold a banner saying 'Yellow Vests eastern side coordination' in Strasbourg, France, April 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 April 2019
Opinion

Citizens accuse the French government of allowing large tax exemptions for the rich while offering the crumbs to working classes.

France's Yellow Vests staged their 24th weekend protest in the main cities of France Saturday, demanding real changes in the economic policy of President Emmanuel Macron who announced Thursday a set of emergency measures that did not calm the French population.

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In Paris, the country's capital, the largest demonstration was convened by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) with the support of left-wing parties such as Unsubmissive France (LFI) and the French Communist Party (PCF).

Several thousand people, a part of them wearing CGT red vests, paraded peacefully between the Montparnasse train station and the Italy Square. LFI leaders Jean-Luc Melenchon and Priscillia Ludosky were also present.

Nevertheless, Paris authorities, who banned demonstrations near the Champs-Elysees and the Notre Dame cathedral, allowed the police to repress citizens in that area. The discontent among protesters burned barricades near the Eiffel Tower.

Yellow vests in Paris are complaining that the news outlets are "biased" against their movement.

In Strasbourg in the country's northeastern region there was another call for a "national and international" peaceful demonstration in the afternoon. Two hours into the demonstration, however, police cracked down on the people as they were trying to enter the area where the European Union institutions are located.

On April 25, President Macron announced measures aimed at extinguishing social discontent. Among them there was an income tax reduction for middle classes and an gradual indexation of retirement pensions to inflation rates.​​​​​​​

Macron promised a constitutional reform to facilitate a "differentiated" decentralization and a greater ctitizen's participation in public affairs. He also vowed that no more schools or hospitals will be closed "without the majority's agreement" until 2022.

During his speech, however, France's president did not mention the Yellow Vests' main demands, among which is the Wealth Tax reinstatement.

In Tours, senior citizens gathered to express their disagreement with the ruling class, occupying public places and main streets.

"Nothing has changed for us. Emmanuel Macron still does not listen to us. He throws us peanuts like monkeys while upper classes receive huge tax cuts," protesers told local media.

"Macron, power makes you lose your head," said the banner that opened the peaceful march in Amboise where workers' unions are getting ready to receive President Macron on Thursday May 2 with protests.

Although citizens protests happened throughout all of France, the interior ministry claimed there was only 23,600 yellow vests.

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