Since the unrest in France began Nov. 17 in response to a sharp increase in diesel taxes, four people have been killed in protest-related accidents. Now the demands of the “yellow vest” movement — named for the fluorescent safety gear that French motorists keep in their cars — is pressing for a wider range of benefits from the government to help workers, retirees and students.
Macron on Wednesday agreed to abandon the fuel tax increase, but the protesters’ anger at his government has not abated. Macron, since returning from the G-20 meeting last weekend, has kept largely out of sight, a move that has puzzled supporters and critics.
The 40-year-old leader mostly spent the week holding closed-door meetings in the Elysee presidential palace, and many protesters consider him to be hiding from the people.