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The Yellow Vests Set Paris on a Delicate Path to Reform

Mar 7, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
A yellow vest protester at the Eiffel Tower on Feb. 9, 2019, in Paris.

A yellow vest protester at the Eiffel Tower on Feb. 9, 2019, in Paris. To some extent, French President Emmanuel Macron's reaction to the yellow vests has taken the sting out of the protest crisis.

(ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty Images)

The past three months have provided more than a few trials and tribulations for French President Emmanuel Macron. Starting in November 2018, the nation was rocked by the "yellow vests," a heterogeneous movement that initially hit the streets to protest rising fuel prices before evolving to demand higher living standards and greater social justice. The protests grew to such size that Macron announced a series of measures in mid-December 2018 to appease the demonstrators, including a raise in the minimum wage and the abolition of a controversial carbon tax. To some extent, Macron's reaction to the yellow vests took the sting out of the crisis. While some protesters continue to take to the streets of Paris and other cities each week, the demonstrations have shrunk significantly since their peak in late 2018, while opinion polls also suggest popular support for the movement has decreased. What's more, Macron's popularity has improved...

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