‘Dear Frenchwomen, dear Frenchmen, my dear fellow citizens. In a period of questioning and uncertainty such as the one we are going through, we must remember who we are. France is a country unlike any other,” wrote Macron.
Macron’s unusual address to his nation aimed to quell the current unrest after the last protest on Saturday, when more than 80,000 followers of the Yellow vests took to the streets across France. In his letter, Macron sharply stated he won’t accept any form of violence, pressure and insults and suggests finding a solution through discussion.
He called upon all French people to join the national debate on dozens of social and economic issues, which is supposed to lead to a ‘new agreement for the nation.” The society-wide debate starts now and will last for two months. According to Macron, it is a way to transform anger into solutions together, adding that none of the issues is forbidden.
At the same time, he warned his citizens that there are two sides of a coin. Thus, if anyone demands lower and more fair taxes, then it is important to keep in mind necessary cuts in the state budget.
Even though the address was meant to be a conciliatory step, Macron already in advance announced he is not planning on changing two crucial taxes – mandatory social insurance and so-called property solidarity tax. The most important two for French citizens.
In his letter, Macron tried to explain and defend a lower property tax and it backfired. One of the Yellow vests’ movement representatives replied that the letter is addressing only a part of the problem and is too shallow to resolve what bothers protestors the most – decreasing purchasing power.
While 70 percent of French people think the debates won’t change a thing, it would be actually good for them to realize that there are two sides of a coin.