The movement’s organisers have planned an event next weekend to coincide with the end of the President’s Great Debate – a three-month consultation programme which was designed to quell the protests and give the French people opportunity to raise their grievances with the French government at gatherings in local town halls across the country.
Given the continued protests, however, it’s not clear how effective this consultation programme has been.
Sputnik spoke to Professor Gino Raymond from the University of Bristol, and asked him if Macron’s Grand Debat consultation had achieved what it set out to achieve at the beginning…
Sputnik: Will Macron's Grand Debat consultation have achieved what it set out to achieve at the beginning?
So it did defy some of the more cynical or pessimistic observations about the Grand Debat. To a certain extent, in statistical terms, it was a success for Macron in restoring his image since the start of the Gilets Jaunes movement, four months ago now.
Sputnik: Has the Gilets Jaunes movement lost momentum or does the fact it has continued into its 17th week and has branched out and gathered more international support mean that it is here to stay?
So the convergence hasn't happened, the way certain extreme groups have attached or piggy-backed on the movement has had a very, very negative impact on the Gilets Jaunes, or the image of the Gilets Jaunes. So the grievances haven't gone away, they're still there, but that image of extremists attaching themselves, of the failed convergence has in a sense diminished the profile and the attractiveness of the movement. Now you're right — there's a kind of Gilets Jaunes phenomenon occurring elsewhere but the national specificities are different so it remains to be seen to what extent that remains a kind of permanent mobilisation.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Gino Raymond and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.