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France counts costs of protests, new measures

  • APTOPIX-France-Protests-1

    French President Emmanuel Macron poses before a special address to the nation, his first public comments after four weeks of nationwide 'yellow vest' protests, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Monday. 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.



PARIS — The French government says tax relief and other fiscal measures announced by President Emmanuel Macron to try to calm nationwide protests will cost between 8 billion and 10 billion euros ($9 billion and $11 billion).

The figure was given by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, speaking Tuesday to broadcaster BFM-TV.

After weeks of often violent demonstrations by so-called "yellow vest" protesters, Macron responded Monday with measures to boost the spending power of retirees and workers, including a 100-euro hike in the minimum monthly wage.

Griveaux said the government will make savings in the state budget to help finance the measures.

The protests, including blockades of roads, have also caused substantial economic losses to businesses that have lost customers in city and town centers hit by rioting.

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