France’s Prime Minister has this afternoon announced an indefinite ban on some Yellow Vest protests if they include violent groups after eighteen successive weekends of protest which have wreaked havoc in the country’s major cities.
Following a meeting on Monday afternoon with Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared a ban on Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue in addition to further bans in Bordeaux and Toulouse. It is understood that Paris’ police chief has also been sacked.
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The Yellow Vest movement or Gilet Jaunes which has been gathering momentum since November of last year is a populist, grassroots movement calling for economic justice after the regressive tax reforms implemented by Macron’s government disproportionately hit the working class.
The situation has become increasingly more volatile with this weekend’s protesters causing untold damage by ransacking luxury jewellery stores, attacking police officers and igniting bonfires across the country’s capital.
Without souring the relationship further between protesters and the police, it isn’t entirely clear how proposed bans are to be enforced.
To add insult to injury, continuous protestations by the Yellow Vest movement have coincided with a strike of customs officials, resulting in Eurostar urging passengers not to travel to France this weekend due to unprecedented border chaos and five-hour queues.
Emmanuel Macron, dubbed by many as the poster boy for Brussels has seen his approval rating across the nation plummet in recent months. The political disconnect between his administration and wider French public shows little sign of improvement.