Macron Calls on French to Participate in National Debate to End Protests

© Sputnik / Alexei Vitvitsky / Go to the photo bankEmmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron - Sputnik International
PARIS (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the country to take part in a nationwide debate after tens of thousands of "yellow vests" protesters took to the streets across the nation for a ninth consecutive weekend.

Macron wrote a letter "to the French" to mark the opening of a three-month national debate, which will focus on such topics as taxes, public spending, and environmental reform.

Yellow Vests protest in Paris - Sputnik International
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"I wish that as many of you as possible could participate in this great debate to make a useful contribution to the future of our country… Your proposals will make it possible to build a new contract for the nation, organize the work of the government and the parliament", Macron said in the letter.

READ MORE: French Netizens Doubt Macron's 'National Debate' Can Calm Yellow Vests Down

The wave of the so-called yellow vests protests — named after the obligatory attribute of French drivers — started in mid-November. While the French government has scrapped its planned hike in diesel taxes, which is what initially sparked the protests, the "yellow vests" have evolved into a broader movement against government policies and rising living costs. The rallies have been marked by violent clashes between protesters and the police.

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