President Emmanuel Macron has acknowledged he’s partially responsible for the anger that has fueled weeks of protests in France, an unusual admission for the leader elected last year.
In a televised address to the nation, Macron said: “We probably have not been able for a year-and-a-half to bring quick enough and strong enough responses.”
Macron also acknowledged he may have given an impression “not to care” about the concerns of ordinary citizens and “might have hurt” some people with his comments.
Macron is perceived by many in France as arrogant, for instance telling an unemployed man he could find a job if he “crosses the street” and advising a retiree not to complain.
Facing exceptional protests, French President Emmanuel Macron is promising to speed up tax relief for struggling workers and to scrap a tax hike for retirees.
The actions were the pledges Macron made on Monday night in his first public comments since protests against his presidency devolved into rioting in the French capital.
The French leader reiterated earlier promises to raise the minimum wage and pledged to abolish taxes on overtime pay starting Jan. 1, several months before schedule.
He also said a tax hike pensioners faced would be scrapped.
All of the measures offered had been demanded by the yellow-vested protesters who have led four weeks of increasingly radicalized demonstrations against Macron’s presidency, seen as favoring the rich.