French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to meet with heads of political parties and representatives of the so-called “yellow vests” in an attempt to defuse tensions that erupted into violent protests over the weekend.
Around 36,000 people took part in protests across the country on Saturday, but while the turnout was lower than the previous two weekends, protesters clashed with police, torching cars, erecting roadblocks and burning barricades.
The unrest has transformed from dissent over rising gas prices and eco-taxes into a broader demonstration against Macron, his government, and tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor.
Speaking on France’s Europe 1 radio Sunday, spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the government was considering “all options” to prevent “serious outbursts of violence,” including introducing a state of emergency.The rising cost of gasoline and diesel fuel sparked protests that have since evolved into broader demonstrations against Macron’s government, exposing tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor.
The protesters, known as the “gilets jaunes,” take their name from the high-visibility yellow vests that drivers are required to keep in their vehicles for safety reasons
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