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Yellow vest protesters call for citizens to empty French bank accounts

Yellow vest protesters call for citizens to empty French bank accounts”

Meanwhile, the Macron government has pledged to crack down on the protesters following their eighth consecutive weekend of action, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announcing on Monday that the administration is considering banning participation in unauthorised protests.

He further stressed that France will support a "new law punishing those who don't respect the requirement to declare [protests], those who take part in unauthorized demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks".

The government is also working on ways to put the onus on "the troublemakers, and not taxpayers" to pay for damage to businesses and properties.

The yellow vest rebellion - so-called after the high-visibility jackets all French drivers must carry in their cars - began in November as a fuel tax revolt but quickly swelled into a wider backlash against President Emmanuel Macron's pro-business policies and detached governing style.

On Saturday, demonstrators used a construction site vehicle to smash open the doors of a government building.

Nicknamed the "Gypsy of Massy", he claims he was defending himself.

In a video posted on YouTube on Sunday, he described himself as an ordinary citizen acting out of anger against what he called the repressive tactics of the police.

About 200 protesters, including trade union members and participants in the yellow vest movement, gathered Wednesday in Creteil, a Paris suburb as Macron visited a handball facility dedicated to handball gymnasium. "I've made a decision to step away from the national debate because it will be hard to ensure the calm that's needed for the talks", she said.

Disturbing footage emerged showing police beating protesters in the southern city of Toulon, with multiple media reporting that the incident is now under investigation for brutality.

Police signalled a stricter approach last week when they arrested a protest leader, truck driver Eric Drouet, for failing to notify the authorities about a demonstration.

"We need to preserve the right to demonstrate in France and we must sanction those who break the law", Philippe told TF1 television. "It needs to end", he told RTL radio on Monday. There was a recent statement by two ministers from the Italian government who do not hide their support [for the yellow vest movement]...

The French government appears politically weakened by the yellow vest movement but can still pass new bills at parliament, where Macron's centrist party holds a strong majority.

However, this was the case of Luigi Di Maio, the Italian deputy prime minister and minister of labour. The move underscored the increasingly sour relations between Rome and Paris, which have previously clashed over immigration policy, among other issues.



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