France’s Macron says violent “Yellow Vest” protests must stop

French President Emmanuel Macron 

PARIS, Feb. 13 (Rahnuma): French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said violent “Yellow Vest” protests must come to an end, reaffirming the government’s firm stance to manage troublemakers and preserve the country’s calm.

“The events in recent days related to the movement (“of Yellow Vest”) take a new turn following violence against the home of the Speaker of the National Assembly, parliamentary offices, the Republic’s institutions, but also violence against some of our fellow citizens because of their beliefs,” Macron said, according to government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux.

“Violent demonstrations every Saturday in the streets of Paris and in other French cities must stop. The time of republican clarification has come,” he said.

For the 13th consecutive weekend in a row, tens of thousands of “Yellow Vest” protesters took to the streets across French cities last Saturday to denounce the government’s fiscal policy and some demand Macron to leave the Elysee Palace.

As in recent weeks, disturbances have flared up in the capital after groups of demonstrators broke away from the designated route and threw bottles and other projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas.

Video footages showed a vehicle of anti-terrorism Sentinelle forces in flames. Some motorbikes, cars and bins were set on fire, and shops windows smashed in Paris popular tourist areas.

Griveaux also suggested that a rise in anti-Semitic incidents could be linked in part on far-right and hard-left supporters who infiltrated the weekly rallies.

“It is clear, the outburst of violence in the sidelines of some protests with anti-Semitic remarks from supporters of the far-left or far-right, unfortunately disrupted some calm and peaceful demonstrations,” said Griveaux.

In this context, Macron denounced an “unacceptable increase” in anti-Semitic acts that coincided with “Yellow Vest” action last weekend, during which a memorial to a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006, was desecrated and anti-Semitic graffiti were scrawled on walls in the French capital.

“We’ll be absolutely uncompromising towards those who commit these acts. There can be no ambiguity,” Macron said.

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