Macron to announce new measures to defuse social uproar
15 Apr 2019, 01:34
French President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on Monday evening to unveil measures to ease social tension and respond to "yellow vest" complaints, state-run France Info radio reported on Sunday.
Macron will give a televised speech at 1800 GMT "to announce the priority action projects and ... the first concrete measures in response to the concerns raised in the framework of the Great National Debate," the radio said, citing the president's office.
The response to weekly protests staged by the spontaneous moment would include "a new act and changes in depth," according to the report.
In a rare move, the 41-year-old head of state will also open the Elysee doors to journalists on April 17 to justify his policy during a press conference, a meeting that he has avoided since he was elected in May 2017.
The "yellow vest" movement, a nationwide protest against weak economic performance and stagnant income increase under President Macron, started as a campaign against surge in fuel prices in November 2018.
It had since turned into a social rebellion demanding Macron to step down, despite his reversal of tax hike and measures worth 10 billion euros (11.3 billion U.S. dollars) to bolster purchasing power.
To further defuse anger, Macron launched in January a series of public debates that he promised would lead to concrete measures.
"I intend to transform anger to solution," said Macron in an open letter to the nation when he launched the consultations.
Three months later, scepticism overshadowed expectations with the majority of the French see little to come out from the national consultations, according the country's pollsters.
"(Macron) won't get a second chance... the announcements can not be only cosmetic or purely institutional," Senate President Gerard Larcher told Le Figaro newspaper on Saturday.