The world’s view on… France’s gilets jaunes protests

The Observer - - Comment & Analysis -

The Lo­cal France ‘Two Frances’

“There is a ten­dency, ob­serv­able in reader com­ments on Le Monde ar­ti­cles, for parts of met­ro­pol­i­tan-lib­eral France to sneer at the gilets jaunes as oil-guz­zling “beaufs” (oafs), eco­log­i­cally ig­no­rant “péquenots” (yokels) or dis­guised far-right racists. That misses the point – or per­haps makes the gilet-jaune point that there are now two Frances and boom­ing met­ro­pol­i­tan France cares only for it­self. The gov­ern­ment should treat the gilets jaunes re­bel­lion as the so­cial protest that it is. It should an­nounce its readi­ness to take mea­sures to ad­dress the wider prob­lems of ru­ral ar­eas and hard-scrab­ble outer suburbs, from trans­port to taxes to lo­cal ser­vices.”

John Lich­field

Still­wa­ter News Press ‘Peo­ple will rise up’

“Democ­ra­cies… have to im­pose ris­ing costs on elec­torates if they are to deeply cut car­bon emis­sions. But when the elec­torates can­not see the ben­e­fits of these painful price hikes, the greater the like­li­hood the peo­ple will rise up.”

Pat Buchanan

The New York Times ‘Dan­ger to democ­racy’

“The power of so­cial me­dia to quickly mo­bi­lize mass anger, with­out any mech­a­nism for di­a­logue or re­straint, is a dan­ger to which a lib­eral democ­racy can­not suc­cumb. Mr Macron and the Parliament were demo­crat­i­cally elected, and the re­forms they have been pur­su­ing… on the en­vi­ron­men­tal front were what they openly promised in those elec­tions and what France needs.”

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