21:34 GMT +325 March 2019
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    A demonstrators holds a flare during a demonstration of Yellow Vests (Gilets jaunes) against the rising of the fuel and oil prices on November 17, 2018 in Vendenheim, eastern France.

    French Politician Says Macron's Answer to Fuel Rallies Will Enrage Protestors

    © AFP 2019 / Frederick FLORIN
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    Nationwide demonstrations in France, named after the high-visibility jackets now required to be carried in any vehicle, broke out on 17 November. The activists are protesting the planned hike in petrol and diesel prices. Sputnik has discussed the unrest with a former French presidential candidate.

    In his address to France amid the backdrop of violent protests by the so-called ‘yellow vests' against the increase in petrol prices, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he had heard the protesters but would not refuse to raise the price of fuel.

    Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a French presidential candidate in 2017, head of the party Debout la France (France Arise), commented on Macron's speech in an interview with Sputnik.

    According to the politician, the president's address will not force the ‘yellow vests' movement to slow down:

    'I believe that, on the contrary, people are disappointed, discouraged by the fact that no answer [from Macron] followed'.

    READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Mass Protests in Paris Over Soaring Fuel Prices

    Commenting on the French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner's accusations of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen of being behind the protests, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan stated, ‘This is a manipulation at the state level. I demanded the resignation of Mr Castaner'.

    'The riots on the Champs-Élysées are designed specifically to ridicule the movement, and this is a tragedy'.

    Earlier, Marine Le Pen also said that the police had not taken any specific action against the rioters during the ‘yellow vests' protest actions on 24 November and that the government itself was behind the violence.

    Nicolas Dupont-Aignan recalled that ‘the detainees are not members of any political movement'.

    Dupont-Aignan also supported the protest campaigns of some of his fellow deputies in the National Assembly, in particular, Jean Lassalle and Jean-Hugues Ratenon, elected from the Department of Réunion (where massive ‘yellow vests' strikes took place), as they reflect the ‘indignation of the people'.

    For nearly two weeks, the so-called yellow vests protests have seen thousands take to the streets across France over an increase in diesel and petrol prices, blocking roads and causing traffic jams. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that the protests had dealt a severe blow to the national economy.

    READ MORE: 'Yellow Vests' Fuel Price Protests in France

    While diesel prices have risen by around 23 per cent since the beginning of the year and petrol by 15 per cent, prices are expected to climb even higher.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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