Yellow Vests Paris 2018-11-24

Yellow Vests in France Challenge Macron Presidency

Yellow vest demands are pointing to an urgently needed system change – and pose risks far higher and wider than anticipated by most.

The numbers of participants to the street protests by the yellow vests have been sliding continuously since the first protests November 17, counting more than 282’000, have rocked France. The following weekends, official numbers show 106’000 and after that 75’000 – but government counts and reports usually reflect its intentions: to generally downplay and misrepresent importance and aims. But during the last weekend, protesters successfully blocked commercial traffic on border posts raising the national cost of the unrest, which is reaching single-digit billions of Euros already by now.

Most interesting are the demands of the yellow vests, which clearly surpass simple ideas of lower taxes or higher wages. Guaranteed minimum wages of 1’300 Euros (all numbers in brackets represent the number of demand as listed: 3) and minimum pensions of 1’200 Euros (10) cannot be introduced under the present system of:

  • – austerity as agreed by the countries of the Euro zone
  • – state debts covered by interest-based bank loans and other sources of invented funds raised by the private banking system. Already now, France pays well over 54 billion Euros annually on a national debt of 2’4 trillion Euros.

The whole dramatic situation reached by the protests can only be analyzed from a closer look to the 42 demands linked above. The system-changers of the demands are being quoted here as follows:

  • – Same system of social security for all (including artisans and self-entrepreneurs). End of the RSI ( the social regime of the self-employed). (7)
  • – The pension system must remain in solidarity and therefore socialized. (No retirement at peak). (8)
  • – Protect French industry: prohibit relocation. Protecting our industry is protecting our know-how and our jobs. (13)
  • –  End of detached work (where ‘posted workers’ are sent by their employer to carry out a service in another European country on a temporary basis). It is abnormal that a person who works on French territory does not benefit from the salary and the same rights. Anyone authorized to work on French territory must be equal with a French citizen and his employer must contribute to the same height as a French employer. (14)
  • – End of the CICE ( tax credits that corporations can claim for all salaries 2.5 lower than the French minimum wage). Using this money for launching a French car industry that has hydrogen (which is truly ecological, unlike the electric car.) (16)

A very clear „NO“ to EU and UN immigration policies are the following four demands (18-21):

  • – That the causes of forced migration are treated. (18)
  • – That asylum seekers are well treated. We owe them housing, security, food and education for the miners. Work with the UN to have host camps open in many countries around the world, pending the outcome of the asylum application. (19)
  • – That the unsuccessful asylum seekers be returned to their country of origin. (20)
  • – That a real integration policy  be implemented. Living in France means becoming French (French language course, History of France course and civic education course with certification at the end of the course). (21)

The following demands seal the lid on creeping pro-cartel policies over a wide bandwidth of governmental policies:

  • – Limitation of rents + low-rent housing (especially for students and precarious workers). (25)
  • – Prohibition to sell property belonging to France (airport dam …) (26)
  • – Since the price of gas and electricity has increased since privatization, we want them to become public again and that prices fall significantly. (29)
  • – Immediate end to closure of small chains: post offices, schools and maternity homes. (30)
  • – Maximum 25 students per class from kindergarten to the final year. (32)
  • – The People’s Referendum must enter the Constitution. Creation of a readable and effective site, supervised by an independent control body where the links can make a proposal of law. If this bill obtains 700,000 signatures then this bill will have to be discussed, completed and amended by the National Assembly, which will be obliged (one year to the day after obtaining the 700,000 signatures) to submit to the vote of all the French. (34)
  • – A 6-year-old child is not able to look after him or herself, continuation of the PAJEMPLOI help system until the child is 10 years old. (37)
  • – Promote the transport of goods by railway. (38)

On December 7, a sensational additional list of fundamental content includes:

  • – cut tax to 25% of GDP ( half current levels)
  • – better public services/massive hiring of civil servants to this end
  • – leave EU and NATO
  • – default on public debt
  • – new constitution on immigration: „Prevent migratory flows that cannot be accommodated or integrated, given the profound civilizational crisis we are experiencing.“

President Macron has announced on Monday, Dec. 10, a four-point plan to address the needs expressed:

  • – monthly minimum wage from 1’200 Euros
  • – higher taxes on pensions starting only at 2’000 Euros/month, not at 1’200 – as announced before
  • – tax-free overtime pay
  • – tax-free Christmas surplus payments by employers

The vast majority of the yellow vest movement has already signaled their discontent with the overall result – and that protests would continue next Saturday as before. In Paris the situation has already escalated today, with widespread use of tear gas. A YouTube video shows a yellow vest being shot by security forces, who are also using small hand grenades.

Generally, the consequences of turmoil in France are very grave: If France drops out of the present EU austerity line, the Euro is in great danger. Credible rumors have it, that Germany is already printing DM bills. The machines were purchased already about ten years ago. In case the unrest spreads too far, economic damages reach new and dramatic extent – and the current European and EU system is in real danger of collapsing, the risk of war in Europe may rise very high. Global corporate networks (cartels) do not and will not tolerate calls for system change – and have used the last years efficiently to prepare war scenarios all over the globe. The global financial system is at stake.

It is not, as in ancient times, that Russia can stand aside and enjoy a secure observation position. WW1 changed Russia head-to-toe. WW2 already had Russia pay a hefty price for the misguided Versailles treaty policy against Germany. Investment in defense capacities is still without alternative – but heavy investments in people-to-people relations and adjacent matters are overdue and without alternative as well: should the opinion be, that the best war is a war avoided.

Foto: JNicollet CC-BY 2.0

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