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    An Eiffel Tower is seen at a store front window vandalized by the yellow vests movement, in Paris, France. Rising protests that first began on November 17 and erupted over high living costs has morphed into a broader anti-government rebellion.

    Allegations of Russian Link to 'Yellow Vests' a Real Flop - French Journo

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The allegations of Russia's involvement in the yellow vest protest movement in France have nothing to do with reality and are being used to promote the application of the controversial "fake news" law, Patrick Kamenka, a member of the French National Union of Journalists (SNJ-CGT), told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said earlier in December that the French authorities were looking at media reports about Russia's alleged involvement in the rallies. Moscow, in turn, said that the yellow vest protests were France's internal affair, calling the claims slander.

    Rumours Do Not Reflect the Reality

    The yellow vest demonstrations were sparked last month by anger over fuel tax increases in France and have ever since expanded into wider grievances.

    "I think it's a real flop… I believe these accusations are completely out of [touch with] reality in France. This situation is social, people are asking for a better life because of the social difficulties they have… The real problem is what would be the answer of the [French] government and President [Emmanuel] Macron to the demands of the people… I think that if you go and ask people who are demonstrating or fighting for their rights, they will be surprised [to hear] these rumors," Kamenka said.

    Politicians Using Accusation Against Russia to Push 'Fake News' Bill Forward

    In late November, the French National Assembly passed a law envisaging measures to fight against the manipulation of information, and empowering French judges to order the removal of "fake news" from websites during election campaigns. Before being adopted by the lower house of the French parliament, the law was rejected twice by the Senate.

    A protester takes part in a demonstration of the yellow vests movement in Paris, France.
    © Sputnik / Irina Kalashnikova
    A protester takes part in a demonstration of the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France.

    Kamenka believes that the allegations of Russia’s involvement in the "yellow vest" protests could help the authors of the law to push it forward.

    "We as a union declared recently that this law is very much against the freedom of expression and can be used against any media or any journalist… In this case, they are playing games accusing either Russia or the US of trying to push this social [yellow vest] movement forward… I think it will help those who introduced that law to the French parliament," Kamenka underlined.

    No Proof of Russia's Involvement in Rallies

    Kamenka pointed at the fact that no proof of Russia's involvement in the protest movement had been found so far.

    "There has not been any proof of the allegations that Russia has been playing games with this yellow vest movement. It's far from the reality of the [French] society, the real situation… Until now we have seen no evidence that Russia has been… helping this movement to expand further," Kamenka pointed out.

    READ MORE: Idea of Russian Meddling in French Riots Belongs to Conspiracy Theories — Le Pen

    Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Rally (RN) party, said earlier on Wednesday that the idea that there was a Russian trace in the "Yellow Vests" protests in France was part of one of "conspiracy theories" that exist in some media.

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

    Tags:
    violence, protests, fuel tax, Yellow Vests Protests, Russia, France
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