The following are key quotes from a press conference by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday 25th April, responding to months of "yellow vest" protests with new measures, according to Reuters.
"I asked myself: Should we stop everything that was done over the past two years? Did we take a wrong turn? I believe quite the opposite."
"We live in a country where disagreements are expressed vehemently. I'm fully convinced it was right not to give in over these first two years on the issues that are still at the heart of our project for this country."
ON FRANCE'S TOWN HALL DEBATES FOLLOWING THE PROTESTS
"We are above all children of the Enlightenment. And it is from these debates, these deliberations, this capacity to contradict one another ... that good solutions can emerge for the country."
ON SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS
"We must maintain public service (in the countryside)... guarantee the access for all to health services and guarantee that no school or hospital will be closed without the mayor's approval."
ON REFORMING FRANCE'S CIVIL SERVICE AND ELITE SCHOOLS
"I want to reform our senior public service. This is not a meritocratic system any more... We don't need jobs-for-life protection."
Macron also confirmed he would scrap France's Ecole Nationale d'Administration, a postgraduate school that was founded in 1945 by Charles de Gaulle to train a postwar administrative elite drawn from across all social classes. "To carry this reform we need to put an end to the ENA... It's not at all about stigmatising the ENA. I went to this school, I owe it a lot."
ON SCRAPPING FRANCE'S WEALTH TAX
Macron ruled out re-introducing the wealth tax, known in France as the ‘ISF’, that his government replaced by a tax on lucrative property deals and real estate assets. "Since it is a pragmatic reform, it will be re-evaluated in 2020. If it is not efficient, we'll amend it."