PARIS – President Emmanuel Macron, at the center of a serious moment that his country goes through, will try on Monday to defuse the yellow anger that has seized the French for more than a month.
Despite his government's abandonment of the fuel tax, which triggered the popular "yellow vests" movement, which has no trade union or political ties, the anger is not fading. the tensions remain alive
On Monday morning, President Macron brought together all political, territorial, economic and social forces "to hear their voices, their proposals and with the aim of mobilizing them to act", said the Elysee in a press release.
To find a way out of the crisis of "yellow vests", a movement supported by 80% of French according to the latest polls, the French head of state met in the morning, around a large table, with 37 people, including Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and 12 members of the government, the bosses of the main unions and employers, as well as the presidents of the National Assembly, the Senate and associations of local communities.
This meeting is held when the mobilization of high school students, joined by students, continued Monday against government measures, including the procedure that provides access to higher education, the reform of the tray or the establishment of the service National Universal Declaration (SNU).
In the evening, President Macron will deliver a speech to the nation to provide solutions to a crisis that threatens to jeopardize his five-year term just 18 months of his inauguration as President of the Republic. Especially since the economic figures announced for the last quarter of the year are not favorable to him.
According to the government and the Banque de France, growth will be lower than expected in the fourth quarter, leaving economists predict a decline in employment and public finances attributable to "yellow vests" but also a slowdown at the European level.
Still, the government promised "positive" effects of tax measures before the end of the year. This may further complicate President Macron's room for maneuver, which is expected to bring concrete measures to the situation of the French who, through the "yellow vests", have eroded their purchasing power.
The economic situation risks amplifying the crisis
Economists say, as a result of this slowdown in growth, a slippage of the path of the fiscal deficit, when the abandonment of the hard tax fuel prices will reduce revenue by 4 billion euros for 2019. In the wake of the mobilization of "yellow vests", trade was also affected as the holiday season approached, a period when sales generally reached the ceiling.
Indeed, the National Council of Shopping Centers (CNCC) said Monday that the attendance of businesses has decreased by 17% since the beginning of the movement of "yellow vests", hoping that the announcements of President Macron "will be of nature to bring customers back to commercial sites ", before the end of the year.
In a note published Monday, the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, close to the Socialist Party (PS), said the measures adopted since the arrival of Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace have "degraded" the power of purchase of the French
For this foundation, the measures taken for the 2018 and 2019 budgets "have degraded the purchasing power of the modest and middle classes", stating that the massive transfer policy initiated by the government since May 2017 "was carried out in favor of a minority of taxpayers, the richest 1% ". In this "near-ruptured" France, according to many analysts, President Macron "must know that the grumbling has spread to the entire management of the country by himself and his government."
The "yellow vests" now claim an increase in the minimum wage to restore purchasing power. The Jean-Jaurès Foundation mentions an increase of 500 euros, while informed sources speak of an increase between 30 and 300 euros. Politically, he claims the convening of a popular referendum on sensitive issues affecting the French.
In this situation, observers believe, President Macron is obliged to meet the demands of the popular movement, which is already preparing to draft Act V of its mobilization for next Saturday, less than 10 days before Christmas party.