Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Macron worries about 'war scenes' in Paris during protests - worldwide

French president expected to make cost of living concessions after two weeks of protests Macron's government stands tough against violent protesters
Elijah Vega | 27 November, 2018, 17:08

The 10-year blueprint comes as Macron is facing fractious "yellow vest" protests by French citizens' angry over a string of yearly fuel tax increases to finance green initiatives, which Macron has indicated will continue.

French President Emmanuel Macron will attempt to convince his people that they will gain real benefits from his economic reforms as he seeks to defuse protests that that might endanger his career, experts said.

"I do not confuse the rioters and the fellow citizens who protest", he said, referring to the incidents of violence, such as the riots seen at the protest in Paris on Saturday, that have been associated with the movement.

Macron's reputation has been hit by the brusque departure of two high-profile ministers and a summer scandal over his bodyguard, while stubbornly high unemployment, high taxes and rising fuel prices add to a general feeling of discontent.

Macron made it clear that the hike in fuel taxes on diesel and petrol that will come into force in January, will not be scrapped.

French police detained at least 100 people on Saturday in anti-government protests which sparked by rise in fuel prices in the country, according to security sources.

Scenes of barricaded and water cannon being used against demonstrators in central Paris has unnerved France after the country experienced some of the worst street violence in the tourist-oriented districts of the capital since the iconic 1968 anti-Capitalist, leftist protests left much of Paris looking like a war zone.

Macron's government stands tough against violent protesters

Yet he said France would cap the amount of electricity it derives from nuclear plants at 50 percent by 2035. Macron's predecessor, Francois Hollande, wanted to achieve a similar goal by 2025.

He also announced that France would close its remaining four coal-fired power plants by 2022 as part of the country's anti-pollution efforts.

The "Yellow Vest" activists - named after the high-vis jackets drivers have to carry in their vehicles by law - clashed with police, blocking roads from Brittany to the Pyrenees for a second weekend.

Apart from being a pillar of the government's plans for cutting carbon emissions as part of the 2015 Paris climate accord on capping global warming, the nuclear sector provides jobs for 220,000 people.

Green lawmakers were already miffed by the government's decision a year ago to push back a pledge to reduce the role of nuclear in France's energy mix to just 50 per cent of its electricity needs.

Greenpeace said in a statement that Tuesday's measures "don't help rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions" and "don't accelerate the transition toward renewable energy".

'I don't believe it' - Trump dismisses government climate report
The report notes the last few years have smashed US records for damaging weather, costing almost $400 billion since 2015.

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