Macron caves in to French protesters. Too late, they say

Protesters build a barricade during a protest of Yellow vests against rising oil prices

Four people have died in the Yellow Vest protests so far, and an estimated 75,000 people took part in demonstrations that turned violent in Paris this past Saturday. A sit-in of 5,000 Yellow Vests on Capitol Square in Toulouse would have more impact on the public authorities than these images of violence.

The "yellow vest" protests have blocked highways and fuel depots around the country, causing headaches for businesses and fuel shortages in some regions.

In the nearby port city of Marseille, students clashed with police outside a high school. "We want Macron and his entire government to resign".

A joint statement from the CGT and FO trucking unions called for action beginning Sunday night to protest a cut in overtime rates, and asked for an urgent meeting with the transportation minister.

Meanwhile, police used water cannons, stun grenades, and hundreds of canisters of tear gas against the demonstrators, as well as arresting about 400 people.

A bust of Marianne, the national symbol, was also smashed.

"We need taxes, but they are not properly redistributed", protester Thomas Tricottet told BFM television.

Mass protests have repeatedly forced French presidents into U-turns, something Macron had vowed to avoid in his quest to "transform" the French economy and state.

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After it was clear that Macron had been defeated by the strong-arming of the violent protests, Trump tweeted that he was pleased with the outcome.

"If something isn't working, we're not dumb, we'll change it", government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on RTL radio, though "the issue is not on the table for now".

But protestors declared Mr Macron was "out of touch" and a revolt began on November 17 with protestors taking to the streets wearing high-visibility clothing that that has to be carried in every vehicle under French law.

The protests over the past few weeks in France were triggered by a now-scrapped fuel tax increase. The former investment banker, who campaigned for deep pro-business economic reforms, is accused of being the "president for the rich" and of being estranged from the working classes. Eventually, if no agreement is reached, there will likely be "yellow jackets" in the streets of Paris once more, climate agreement or not.

He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests, and has largely remained in his palace residence.

Macron, for his part, visited a regional government headquarters that was torched by protesters, but he did not speak to reporters. U.S. President Donald Trump said Macron's decision to delay the tax hikes show he doesn't believe in an global climate accord.

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters ... in the world".

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