Paris: The magnitude of the protests being held in different parts of France including capital Paris against President Macron is the same even in the fifth week. More than 60,000 people participated in the protests against Macron, demanding his resignation, in different cities of France on Saturday. The indications are clear that the discontent is rising in the French population, as the protests are continuing even after the measures announced by the French government.
The protests were started by some groups in France, last month, against the taxes imposed on fuel and the resultant price increase. The protestor group known as the Yellow Vests dashed into capital Paris in the third week of November. The agitation has continued for the last five weeks in the important regions of France, including capital Paris and the intensity of the protests seems to have remained the same.
The protests, which started peacefully, have turned violent over the last three weeks. The government was forced to lock down significant parts of Paris twice, owing to the protestor violence. At the same time, the protests which started against the fuel price rise were joined by people from other sectors. Therefore, the protests attained the status as the symbol of discontent against President Macron.
The protests continuing in the fifth week despite the deployment of more than 100,000 security personnel in the country is considered to be a significant jolt to the French government. The inefficiency of Macron who emerged as a new political alternative just one year ago gets highlighted by the agitation, and he is consistently being forced to retreat.
After being at the peak of popularity just after the elections, it is evident from the newer surveys that Macron seems to be scaling record heights of discontent. A recent survey conducted by a French daily said that the number of French people unhappy with the functioning of Macron has gone past 45%. At the same time, people happy with his functioning has declined to 20% level.
While the discontent in the French people is being exhibited through the Yellow Vest agitation, the French government has decided to open a dialogue with the different sections of the society in various parts of the country. As per sources, these include the Yellow Vest protestors, City Mayors, Civic groups and professionals. The main accusation by the demonstrators is that President Macron is taking a decision against the French national interest.
The protestors are questioning the very commitment of President Macron towards France. President Macron had remarked that the European countries are being infested with nationalism. Now, the French President, a strong supporter of liberalisation and globalisation, is facing the backlash of the policies in the form of these severe protests. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the strongest ally and supporter of the French President, herself is in a dangerous position, and it is apparent that she may have to step down shortly.
The developments in France and Germany will have long-lasting effects on Europe, and the nationalist groups will emerge stronger.