Macron hikes minimum wage to appease ‘yellow vest’ protesters

Protesters wearing yellow vests watch French President Emmanuel Macron on a TV screen at the motorway toll booth in La Ciotat, near Marseille. (Reuters)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Macron hikes minimum wage to appease ‘yellow vest’ protesters

  • Macron announces €100 per month increase in the minimum wage from next year in a major concession to yellow vest protesters
  • The 40-year-old former investment banker also struck a more humble tone than usual as he sought to address criticism of his style of leadership

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday a €100 ($113) per month increase in the minimum wage from next year in a major concession to “yellow vest” protesters who have roiled the country.
The minimum wage was set at €1,498 per month pre-tax in 2018 and €1,185 after tax.
Macron also rolled back on an unpopular increase in taxes on pensioners which was introduced by his government.
In an address to the nation, the 40-year-old former investment banker also struck a more humble tone than usual as he sought to address criticism of his style of leadership.
“I know that I have hurt some of you with my statements,” he said.
He stressed, however, that the protests by mostly low-income people in small town or rural France were the result of long-term problems.
“Their distress doesn’t date from yesterday. We have ended up getting used to it,” he said.
“These are forty years of malaise that have come to the surface,” he added.


Facing populist assault, global elites regroup in Davos

Updated 20 January 2019
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Facing populist assault, global elites regroup in Davos

DAVOS: As the world’s financial and political elites convene here in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum, their vision of ever-closer commercial and political ties is under attack — and the economic outlook is darkening.
Britain’s political system has been thrown into chaos as the country negotiates a messy divorce from the European Union. Under President Donald Trump, the United States is imposing trade sanctions on friend and foe alike, and the government is paralyzed by a partial shutdown that forced Trump and a high-level US delegation to cancel the trip to Davos.
French President Emmanuel Macron is sinking in the polls as he contends with “yellow vest” protesters. Nationalist political movements are gaining strength across Europe.
And experts are downgrading forecasts for global growth this year.