Macron under fire, tourism accolades, women’s Ballon d’or and new film plans.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced new measures to quell the violent and angry protests of the ‘ gilets jaunes’ movement, in a television address to the nation. Protests that began in mid-november as a small revolt against the cost of fuel, quickly spiralled into a large anti-government movement, with thousands taking to the streets across France to fight what they see as social inequality. In his speech M. Macron said the country was in a “state of economic and social emergency” adding that legitimate grievances had mixed with “unacceptable, growing violence” as he called for calm. He announced a €100 rise in the minimum wage, tax-free overtime, an end of year bonus to private sector workers and greater pension contributions. However, response to his speech has been mixed, with some gilets jaunes – named after the reflective yellow vests worn by the protestors – welcoming the gestures but many others saying he hadn’t gone far enough. Many of the protestors see ex-banker Macron as the ‘President of the rich’ who struggles to understand the plight of ordinary people trying to make ends meet.