Tag Archives: Yellow Vests

Yellow Vests in decline

With 7,000 protesters across the country on June 15, the participation of Yellow Vests in Act XXXI is in visible decline. Some clashes erupted in Toulouse, the demonstrations passed without major incidents in Paris and Bordeaux.

In total, there were some 7,000 demonstrators throughout the country, according to the Interior Ministry (against 10,300 last week, and 9,500 the previous one). Act XXXI marks the smallest national mobilization recorded since the beginning of the movement, on November 17 (280,000 people had then marched through the streets of the country), although the Yellow Vests dispute the official figures.

As for act XXX in Montpellier, a call had been launched on social networks to make Toulouse the “capital” national movement for that particular day.

More than a thousand people – “several hundred” according to the prefecture – have started up the cry of the usual slogans anti-Macron.

We were happily advancing, we were singing, and suddenly dozens of policemen rushed on us, tearing the banners and clubbing the protesters at the head of the procession,” said to French TV Bastien, one of the protesters, whith eyes red from tear gas.

The procession then dispersed under a thick cloud of tear gas in a few seconds. From then on, divided into several small groups, the protesters played all afternoon with the cat and the mouse with the police. They have also had massive use of water cannon and tear gas.

What do they want from us, why is there so much violence?” Mireille, a retired Yellow Vest.

The prefecture said two protesters were injured, and 17 were arrested.

Champagne sales decline

Penalised by a further decline in France and the United Kingdom, champagne sales fell in 2018 to their lowest level since 2004 in the number of bottles shipped from the cellars.

For the first time in a hundred years, volumes sold in France were lower than those sold for export outside the EU.

The decline in volume is becoming a little worrying, the decline in France and the United Kingdom is not offset by the rise of large export;” said Jean-Marie Barillère, co-chairman of the CIVC.

The appellation, which sold 301.9 million bottles last year, a figure down 1.8%, however managed to stabilize its turnover at a record level of 4.9 billion euros ( + 0.3%) reached in 2017, according to figures released March 17 by the Interprofessional Champagne Wine Committee (CIVC).

In France, sales continued their slide in a sluggish economic environment and leaded at the end of the year by the movement of Yellow vests.

 

 

 

France-Italy diplomatic clash over Yellow Vests

President Emmanuel Macron’s government recalled France ambassador to Rome Christian Masset on February 7 in an unprecedented act since World War II , saying it had enough with “repeated, baseless” attacks by Italian political leaders against France.

The decision came after a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister and leaders of the French Yellow Vest movement who have been calling for President Macron’s resignation.

Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement welcomed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.

The vise-president of the European Parliament Fabio Castaldo has also taken part in the meeting. (Pictured below: first from right).

In a statement on the decision, France’s foreign ministry blamed Italian officials of making “outrageous statements” and “repeated, baseless attacks” for months.

The statement said the attacks were without precedent since World War II. “Having disagreements is one thing, but manipulating the relationship for electoral aims is another,” it said.

“All of these actions are creating a serious situation which is raising questions about the Italian government’s intentions towards France,” diplomats added, making clear that Paris is increasingly worried by Di Maio and Salvini’s vocal support for the anti-establishments protest movement.

Ambassador Fr Rome

Ambassador Christian Masset (pictured above) arrived to Rome on 6 of December 2017.  As a carreer diplomat he previously served as an Ambassador to Japan, and held other prominent positions in Foreign Affairs Ministry working in Brussels, London, and Pretoria.

 

 

Tourists caught in Yellow Vests protests

Yellow Vests movement causes the whole spectrum of reactions from the tourists: it fascinates, and even enchants some of them, coming as usual from all over the world to admire French capital, it scares the other, making them flee. Although an element of fear is strongly present, it is also a keen interest in life of contemporary France winning over the other considerations. For many visitors France lives up to its glorious past, reminiscent of great slogans of 1789 Revolution  LibertéÉgalitéFraternité” – Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood. For majority of foreigners the Yellow Vests (#GiletsJaunes) are emblematic of French national traditions of centuries long struggle for ideals of harmonious inclusive society.

However the consular services of many countries are less enthusiastic about Yellow Vests, and are definitely not in the mood to romanticise their movement. They issued the warnings to their nationals to avoid crowds, and follow police alerts, while perambulating in popular touristic sites.

The demonstrations are taking place on Saturdays, allowing life to flow uninterrupted during the week; however it is clear that in Paris there is no “business as usual“, and there is a lot of electricity in the air. They talk about ‘divorce‘ between President Macron, and French people.

However on December 10th, 2018 – The US State Department updated a Level 2 Travel Advisory: ‘Exercise Increased Caution’, due to terrorism for Paris, France, on December 6, 2018.

Additionally, the US Embassy in Paris, France issued an Alert regarding the Gilets Jaunes demonstrations, which said ‘these events may continue through the coming weeks.’

Some resort to irony in attempt to come on terms with the extraordinary experience: “I took typical tourist photos during my fist visit to Paris” writes Lonut Lordachescu in his Twitter micro blog. The others move on and make the best out of the booked travel: “Lovely out day” tweets a tourist depicted in a selfie with the Eiffel Tour.

The ‘big spenders’ lament the missing chance of a good shopping spree in Paris on Xmas, but life is not about shopping only,  is it?..

 

 

Trump trolls Macron over climate change

President Donald Trump used his Twitter  micro blog to comment on events in France, where fuel tax imposition caused public outrage culminating in a wave of  urban violence. President Macron  had to postpone his plans to implement his measure, conceived in name of climate change agenda:

I am glad that my friend @EmmanuelMacron and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago,” Trump tweeted.

The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters,” said Trump, referring to a global deal on the environment drafted in Paris in late 2015.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe decided to freeze planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests in big cities all over France, marking the first major U-turn by Macron’s administration in 18 months in office.