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    Macron Mocked Over Last Year's Vow to Make 2018 Year of 'National Cohesion'

    © Sputnik / Alexei Vitvitsky
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    The comments were posted on social media after police arrested three alleged organisers of a performance involving the beheading of an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron by Yellow Vest protesters.

    A year after Emmanuel Macron posted on Twitter that he believes "2018 will be the year of national cohesion", many netizens posted sarcastic comments about the French president's prediction.

    One user used the hashtag "Nostradamus" when commenting on Macron's remarks, while other Twitterians mockingly noted that "we saw that [cohesion] with the Benalla affair and Yellow Vests".

    "Words are no longer enough to conceal poor management of the country and decisions that go against the interests of [French] people," a user wrote.

    Others wondered what one would "call Year 2019 after the cohesion of the nation", with one netizen arguing that France had never been as fractured as it was in 2018, and that "this is only the beginning". The user accused Macron of dividing France "to better reign" over it.

    "He was right: the cohesion of the nation against him and his government," a tweet by another netizen reads. 

    On December 21, a Yellow Vest protester dressed as an executioner beheaded an eyeless effigy of Macron with a large axe. The doll's head was then placed on a spike, while the remainder was reportedly burned. Three alleged organisers of the act have been detained by police.

    READ MORE: Macron's Approval Rating Hits Record Low in Light of Benalla Scandal — Poll

    The Yellow Vest protests, named after the reflective yellow piece of clothing French drivers are legally required to carry in their vehicles at all times, have been ongoing nationwide since mid-November. Demonstrators initially took to the streets to protest fuel tax hikes, with rallies rapidly turning violent and resulting in clashes between protesters and police.

    Although French authorities called off their plans for the tax increase, the protests have since evolved into a broader movement against government policies, with some calling for Macron's resignation.

    In late July, Macron admitted that he was "to blame" for the incident with former security aide Alexandre Benalla, who was earlier caught on camera hitting a May Day protester.

    Benalla has been slapped with multiple charges, including assault, interfering in the work of public services, wearing official insignia without authorisation, concealing video material and breaching professional secrecy.


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