Current Affairs
“We are witnessing a great gap between rich and poor in France” – Maltese in France

In France, the weekend witnessed more protests against the cost of living by yellow jackets demonstrators who are calling for a salary increase, reduction in tax, better pensions, less requisites for University entry and the resignation of President Emanuel Macron.

On Saturday, French anti-riot Police used tear gas to control violence by a crowd of around 5,000 persons who gathered in central Paris. The Police arrested at least 272 persons during the riots.

Over 8,000 policemen and twelve military vehicles were stationed in Paris, while some 90,000 security agents guarded localities across the country where it was reported that over 31,000 demonstrators protested in towns, such as Lyon, Marseille and Grenoble. Many residents stayed at home, including Maltese Helen Mamo Gharbi, who has been living in Paris for 32 years. She described the situation as difficult with Police issuing a protection order.

“No one is going outside; Police issued orders for people not to approach the centre such as Avenue de Washington. All museums and shops are closed, while many tubes and stations are closed as many cars are being burnt, shops attacked and it is expected to get worse”, Ms Mamo Gharbi said on Saturday.

Mamo Gharbi further stated that workers are living by their means. “We are seeing a great gap between people who are rich and those with low income. When I came here everyone used to spend for his living, there were the poor and the rich; now the cost of living is high, that we see a lot more people poorer than before.”

The French Government announced that the fuel tax will not be introduced, while a freeze on electricity and gas prices was announced till next year. Critics are saying that Emmanuel Macron is President of the rich. He is expected to address the nation on the current crisis next week.

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