Macron’s solution to the growing mass protest in France, famously known as the Yellow Vests movement has spurred multiple reactions as the world awaits what possible outcome the Great National Debate will bring to the table, AFP has reported.
Over three months, France's "Great National Debate" has led to 10,000 local meetings, around two million online contributions and 100 hours of presidential talking. On Monday April 8th, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe begins trying to make sense of it all.
The debate was launched in January by President Emmanuel Macron as a response to protests by "yellow vest" demonstrators whose nation-wide revolt over living standards created the biggest crisis of his time in office.
By inviting voters to take part, Macron had twin objectives: anger could be channelled away from the streets and into townhall meetings, while he could soften his image by showing he was open to listening.
"I intend to transform anger into solutions," he declared in an open letter to the country on January 13th, referring to the protests which had seen large numbers of protesters closing the streets and repeatedly riot on the Champs-Elysees.
"Your proposals will help build a new contract for the nation," Macron promised.
"France is not a round-table or a political brain-storming session," the centre-right Le Figaro newspaper wrote last week, expressing growing impatience with the debate format.
In a recent survey published in the French newspaper, Le Monde, President Macron’s popularity seems to have taken a plunge following the Yellow Vests movement in the country.
The Yellow Vests movement has become a symbol calling for more social freedom around the world and has consequently spread to neighbouring Belgium and even to Middle Eastern counties like Tunisia, where hundreds of protesters took to the streets, demanding more reform and social justice.