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Yellow Vests refuse Macron's olive branch

'End of the month, end of the world - the battle is the same'. Many Yellow Vests say they cannot make ends meet at the end of the month.
'End of the month, end of the world - the battle is the same'. Many Yellow Vests say they cannot make ends meet at the end of the month. RFI / Vincent Tuhl

President Macron's speech on Thursday addressed many concerns of the Yellow Vest movement. But some are still dissatisfied, and have called for demonstrations on Saturday.

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Emmanuel Macron's attempt to calm the Yellow Vest unrest will be put to an initial litmus test on Saturday 27 April.

The grassroots movement's 24th week of nationwide wide protests is due to take place without leading figure Eric Drouet, who said he decided to take a break, while not giving up the cause.

Militants on social media networks called for street protests in Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse.

In Paris, some protesters have called for a 'Media March', and plan to do a tour of South-Eastern Paris, where the headquarters of France's main media companies are based

The Yellow Vests' planned demonstration route in Paris on April 27
The Yellow Vests' planned demonstration route in Paris on April 27 paris.demosphere.net

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner remarked that "the Yellow Vests' statements had been written before the President spoke on Thursday,".

"The President was addressing the French people and not the 30,000 who demonstrate on Saturdays", Castaner added

'Nothing's moving'

Thursday evening, President Macron announced long-awaited reforms in a televised press conference. This may be seen as the President's final answer to the Yellow Vest protests that began six months ago.

Local paper Ouest France spoke to Yellow Vest protesters about Macron's proposed changes.

In Saint-Lô, Normandy, a few of them concluded that the French President had said nothing to reassure them. "Nothing's moving," they said, unconvinced.

However, Macron did announce measures to improve purchasing power for France's low-income population, and lower tax rates from next year.

He also admitted that he may have been arrogant, unjust or tough at times when faced with the people's claims or reservations.

'Rubbish'

According to AFP, who spoke to a dozen Yellow Vests in the south of France, those reservations have not gone away

Their reactions were summed up in one word -  "rubbish" as they described Macron's attitude as condescending.

More measured, Jérémy Clément, regularly cited as a spokesperson for the movement, said that "the President has understood our claims, but he hasn't provided the answers to them."

He added that some of the measures had already been announced, and others didn't go far enough.

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