“Yellow Vests”: Race Against Time

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe kicked off a decisive week to try to put the presidential majority back on the agenda. The social measures must be presented in a bill Wednesday in the Council of Ministers, before moving to the National Assembly on Thursday and the Senate Friday.

Reassured by the retreat of the mobilization of “yellow vests” across France, the government is launching a race against time to implement the social measures of Emmanuel Macron and launch the grand consultation supposed to appease a crisis without equivalent. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe kicked off a decisive week to try to put the presidential majority back on the agenda, detailing Sunday evening in an interview with the business daily Les Echos, the gestures announced six days earlier by head of state.

Meanwhile, on the roundabouts, several “yellow vests” fear being forcibly evicted in the coming hours. And about fifty demonstrators gathered in front of the station of Montceau-les-Mines  said that the order had been given to “shave” all their facilities by Wednesday.

The power sent several signals in this direction. The President of the National Assembly, Richard Ferrand, spoke about sending “CRS or gendarmes” to “free public space”.

Edouard Philippe said he “received the message from the French: they want us to go faster on purchasing power while associating them more with the decision”. In the interview with Les Echos, he drew the contours of measures supposed to end a crisis of a new kind that shakes France for a month.

These measures, including the increase of the minimum wage, the exemption from overtime or the exemption from a tax increase for some pensioners, will cost about “10 billion euros” and widen the deficit, which should reach 3, 2% of GDP in 2019. They must now be presented as a bill Wednesday in the Council of Ministers, before moving to the National Assembly Thursday and the Senate Friday.

 

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