PARIS – The French government began, as of Monday, a race against the clock, in putting its decisions to music, for a way out of the crisis of "yellow vests" before the end of the year, so that the measures taken are palpable from January 2019.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe began by detailing Monday the social measures announced by President Emmanuel Macron in the direction of the movement of "yellow vests", which has since experienced a decline in mobilization.
It is in this context considered "favorable" in the eyes of the government that the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, wants to dismantle the blockages and the occupation of the roundabouts by the "yellow vests", considered, with social networks as sources of mobilization and protest
Still in the eyes of the government, this crisis must be resolved before further challenges are added to the mobilization of "yellow vests" which has, in recent days, turned into a political movement waving political demands for horizontal rather than vertical democratic participation
It should be recalled that the sectors of education and higher education have already launched their protest movements, where high school students and students, blocking institutions, claim the government to waive decisions including Baccalaureate reform or increased tuition fees for foreign students.
Also Monday, the Alliance Nationale Nationale union called for a "black day" for Wednesday to protest against the 2019 budget, adopted Thursday by the French National Assembly, for security forces, down 62 million.
Tested by the mobilizations of the "yellow vests" and surely impacted by the social demands of the movement, the security forces will commit Wednesday an "Act I" of their mobilization and will have to intervene only "during the emergency calls", according to a statement.
On Wednesday, the police commit an "Act I" of their mobilization
"Despite our repeated calls to the President of the Republic, to announce an emergency plan for the security forces, so far nothing is announced," said the police union, whose first day Action Plan was named "Close the Commissariats".
It is in a context where fire can take at home at any time, that President Macron, whose popularity continues to fall (only 23% of satisfied French), canceled his trip for Tuesday to Biarritz (Pyrénées-Orientales) where he will launch the French presidency of the G7.
He will remain in Paris to gather ministers and economic actors in order to organize the great national concertation announced as part of the measures related to the crisis of the "yellow vests".
For this debate which will last until March 1, it has four main themes on the agenda, namely the ecological transition, taxation, the organization of the state and democracy and citizenship. The immigration file was added to the menu, it was said.
In this race against the clock, the Prime Minister assured Monday, in an interview with the newspaper Les Echos, that the increase for employees at the minimum wage (Smic) will take effect from February 5, indicating that the government will expand the number of eligible homes, from 3.8 million to 5 million.
On the political front, to respond to the "yellow vests", Edouard Philippe "supported" their demand for a citizens' initiative referendum (RIC), stating that "this is a good subject for debate that we will organize everywhere in France ". No reaction for the moment of "yellow vests".
Moreover, merchants do not hide their desolation as to the loss of revenue, as a result of the various mobilization and blocking of "yellow vests" during the five weekends that preceded the period of the shopping for the end of year festivities.
According to the National Council of Shopping Centers (CNCC), the five weekends of sales have cost the trade sector two billion euros, showing the desperation of being able to recover them by Christmas.
The loss of activity for businesses is estimated on average by -25%, with peaks at -50, -70, (and) in some places -90%, according to official figures.
For their part, motorway operators indicated that the damage caused by the movement of "yellow vests" is estimated in "tens of millions of euros".
In this delicate context, in which the government is trying to get out of the crisis, observers believe that the time has come for immediate appeasement and in the coming days the government should explain where it will draw its funding from measures to end the crisis.