Doubts greet Macron letter to quell French yellow vest anger
French riot police take positions in the city center during a yellow vest demonstration in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. The French Interior Ministry says about 32,000 people have turned out in yellow vest demonstrations across France, including 8,000 in Paris, where scuffles broke out between protesters and police. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, January 14, 2019 5:35AM EST
PARIS -- Yellow vest protesters and political rivals say a sweeping "letter to the French" from President Emmanuel Macron doesn't go far enough to quell national anger at his policies.
Macron's letter explains how he's addressing the movement's concerns through a "grand debate" in local meetings around the country starting Tuesday. The debate will focus on taxes, public services, climate change and democracy.
Yellow vest representative Jeremy Clement told BFM television Monday that the letter "settles part of the problem" but doesn't go far enough to address sinking purchasing power.
Protester Jerome Rodrigues told CNews television that Macron failed to recognize "the urgency" of concerns of low-income workers and retirees.
Others criticized Macron for ruling out a restoration of France's wealth tax. Opposition lawmakers also criticized the letter.