French PM Calls for Quick Tax Cuts to Appease Protesters

A French riot policeman throws a canister of smoke during clashes with yellow vest protesters in Lyon, central France, on Jan. 12, 2019. A European human rights official said on Jan. 30, 2019, that she is “seriously concerned” about extensive injuries caused by rubber bullets and other French police methods to disperse yellow vest protesters. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister has called for quick tax cuts to respond to the anger expressed through the yellow vests protests across the country.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday unveiled the results of a three-month “grand debate” launched by President Emmanuel Macron in response to the protests so ordinary people could express their views on France’s economy and democracy.

Philippe says “the debate clearly indicates the direction: we must cut taxes and cut them more quickly.” At the same time, however, he said the government must cut public spending.

Macron is expected to unveil a series of economic measures next week.

The yellow vest movement, prompted by a fuel tax hike in November, has expanded into a broader revolt against Macron’s policies, which protesters see as favoring the rich and big businesses.

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