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News > France

French Yellow Vests Protest Day Before EU Polls Announced

  • A woman waves a French flag during clashes with police forces on the Champs Elysee in Paris, France, Nov. 24, 2018.

    A woman waves a French flag during clashes with police forces on the Champs Elysee in Paris, France, Nov. 24, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 May 2019

France's so-called Yellow Vests reject Macron's austerity measures and right-wing parties, and presented their own candidates for the European Parliament.

Yellow Vest protesters gathered Saturday for a 28th round of demonstrations across France vowing not to vote for French mainstream parties in the European Parliament (EP) elections that began May 23.


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"We're going to get rid of Macron. Tomorrow he's going to get a thrashing and then I'm going to tear up my voter registration card," a protester told Reuter as he was marching through the Pere Lachise Cemetery in Paris.

A 72-year-old retired woman said she won’t vote for either President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic On The Move (RM) party or Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (NR) because along with being against the president's neoliberal policies, "we're against the far-right, it scares the crap out of everyone."

A similar opinion was held by a 23-year-old factory worker, Antoine, who summoned his fellow citizens to vote wisely.

"People must vote intelligently in the EU election. Of course that means not voting for Macron and all the parties that seem close to him," said Antoine who added that votes should go "for the people, for ecology and for everything that seems humane."

Voting for EPs across the 28 EU member states began May 23 and will run till May 26, the day the French elect their Euro Parliamentarians (MPs).

According to the latest polls, Le Pen's anti-EU movement could win more electoral support than Macron's strongly pro-EU party, which would represent further pushback against the French president who has been seriously weakened by six months of massive public demonstrations across the country.

The Yellow Vest movement presented two party lists, "Citizen Evolution" and "Yellow Alliance" for the EU polls. Francis Lalanne, a singer-songwriter who has become the Yellow Alliance's most visible leader, called on the public to reject the Macron-backed candidates.

These alternative lists, however, have not managed to gain much support because, according to national surveys, they will not be able to garner the necessary five percent of votes to send representatives to Brussels, says RFI media.

The Yellow Vests' entrance into electoral politics is happening at a time when 58 percent of EU citizens think that the union, formed in 1973, may disappear in the next 10 to 20 years, according to a study carried out by the European Council of International Relations (ECIR).

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