Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Macron promises minimum wage rise

Macron promises minimum wage rise

French President Emmanuel Macron announced late Monday that he will increase France's minimum wage by 100 euros - about $114 - a month and slash overtime and some pension taxes in an effort to curb a wave of violent protests that have rocked the country for almost a month and undermined the authority of his government.

In another move to appease protesters' anger, Macron said he would do away with all wage taxes on overtime work.

'We will respond to the economic and social urgency with strong measures, by cutting taxes more rapidly, by keeping our spending under control, but not with U-turns, ' he said during the national address. Macron has acknowledged he's partially responsible for the anger that has fueled weeks of protests in France, an unusual admission for the leader elected previous year.

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron's measures to help low-income families and so end the "yellow vest" protests will blow a hole in the budget and perhaps his reputation too, analysts say.

Mr Macron said: "We are at a historic moment for our country". "I might have hurt people with my words".

A recent poll found just one in five French people think Mr Macron is doing a good job and 72 per cent supported the protests according to an Elabe survey for BFM TV.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, yesterday announced that the minimum wage in the country would be increased by an additional €100 starting early 2019.

Macron has acknowledged he's partially responsible for the anger that has fuelled weeks of protests in France, an unusual admission for the leader elected past year.

The government had already scrapped fuel tax increases set for January - a core demand of the yellow vests - which will cost a further 4.5 billion euros.

In a pre-recorded televised address, Macron told the country that the minimum wage would be raised by €100, or $113, per month.

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The crucial impact of Yellow Vest protests was admitted in a survey published by the Bank of France on Monday.

As it enters its fourth week of protest, France's "yellow vest" movement continues to be active on Facebook.

In an interview with French broadcaster BFMTV, a Yellow Vest protester also reacted to the speech saying to Macron, "If you still have respect for your people, resign".

But Macron refused to budge on his massive cut to the government's "wealth tax", which he introduced past year, cutting the taxes of the richest French households by 70 percent.

The price of fuel in France has soared by more than 20% in the past year to around €1.49 (£1.34) per litre.

Security forces launched a massive operation in a bid to minimise the unrest, detaining more than 1,000 people and mobilising armoured cars in Paris for the first time. But that might be too little, too late.

"We are monitoring the potential new measures announced, but we can not comment until they are properly announced and detailed", said Valdis Dombrovskis, the commissioner for the euro.

The protest movement will have "a severe impact" on the economy, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said as he toured a heavily looted Paris neighbourhood.

A spokesperson for the French interior minister told ABC News that 136,000 people demonstrated in France on Saturday, including 10,000 people in Paris. Previous year marked the first time in more than a decade that the country was under the limit - with a deficit of 2.6 per cent - thanks to cost-cutting measures and higher-than expected economic growth.

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