The head of France’s main opposition party on Wednesday called for a state of emergency to be declared ahead of new protests by the “Yellow Jackets” movement expected on Saturday.
“That would enable the security forces to be protected and it would also enable us to protect those, who want to march peacefully without being taken hostage,’’ Laurent Wauquiez of the conservative Les Republicains party told France 2 television.
“What I do not want is that our country plunges into chaos,’’ Wauquiez added, days after protests in central Paris turned violent for the second week running.
Wauquiez called on President Emmanuel Macron to address the situation after almost three weeks of protests around the country, sparked by opposition to the planned rise in taxes on petrol and diesel.
Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, on Tuesday, announced that the tax rises would be put on hold for six months while a consultation process, promised earlier by Macron, took place.
“The French don’t want this tax; putting it back six months doesn’t make sense, it must be cancelled,’’ Wauquiez argued.
Several Yellow Vest spokespersons have called for the third Saturday of protests in Paris, in spite last weekend’s riots, which saw demonstrators battling police and the Arc de Triomphe vandalised.
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