Trump mocks Macron, blames French riots on Paris climate accord

A protester wearing a yellow vest the symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel prices holds a flag near burning debr

The protests have exploded into an impossible-to-ignore statement of outrage over Macron's leadership, which had a 23 percent approval rating according to a poll released Tuesday by Ifop-Fiducial for Paris Match and Sud Radio; working conditions for paramedics; school reforms; and the perception that Macron, a former investment banker, is a president for the country's elite.

The price increases for the utilities will be suspended for six months, said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, but leaders of the demonstrations in which hundreds of thousands have donned yellow safety vests were dismissive of the gesture.

While the number of "yellow vest" protesters setting up filtered road blocks around France have vastly reduced since November 17th there are still operations taking place, particularly in Brittany, where fuel depots are being blocked.

"No tax merits putting the unity of the nation in danger", he said.

Pressure has been mounting on the government after protests degenerated into the worst street clashes in central Paris for decades.

But the protesters show no sign of letting up, and officials expect more demonstrations this weekend. "Prime Minister, is the suspension of Macron's fuel taxes, then you still haven't realized the gravity of the situation", Abad said.

The protests began last month with motorists upset over the fuel tax hike, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints, with protesters claiming that Macron's government doesn't care about the problems of ordinary people.

"If a measure that we have taken, which is costing the public money, turns out not to be working, if it's not going well, we're not stupid - we would change it", Griveaux said. Many are protesting a new university application system.

The French government caved in after the worst riots in decades and delayed an increase in energy taxes.

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President Trump wants $5 billion for his border wall, which is something he is willing to shut down the government over. The country shouldn't have to endure a shutdown over "Trump's temper tantrum", Schumer said last week.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Macron's retreat vindicated his rejection of the 2015 Paris Agreement on combating climate change.

Just three weeks ago, Philippe had insisted the government would be steadfast in the tax plans aimed at weaning French consumers off fossil fuels.

The French government is hoping to stave off another day of running riots and burning cars like on Saturday, when more than 400 people were arrested in the capital.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said extra police would be deployed next Saturday on top of the 65,000 out in force last weekend, urging "reasonable" members of the movement to stay at home.

In addition to their dissatisfaction with the government's offer regarding the price hikes, the yellow vest protesters have widened the scope of their demonstrations and demands in recent days.

Macron, for his part, visited a regional government headquarters that was torched by protesters, but he did not speak to reporters.

The "yellow vest" movement, named after the high-visibility jackets worn by supporters, emerged on social media in October after months of swelling anger over rising fuel prices.

The protests began November 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints - the stagnant economy, social injustice and France' tax system.

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