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jonno

French Road Blockades - Gilets Jaunes

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On a serious note, they blocked the railway station for a good part of the day and the motorway north of Le Mans was shut too. They are planning further action tomorrow so anyone heading north up to Caen, Le Havre or Cherbourg (or south from the ports) would be well advised to check the traffic situation before taking that route. If in doubt, go west via Rennes or east via Rouen and Paris. Ed. 

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The number of road deaths increased by 17% in February compared to the same month last year. The authorities are blaming the increase on the aforementioned damage done to speed cameras. 

https://auto.bfmtv.com/actualite/le-nombre-de-morts-sur-les-routes-en-forte-hausse-en-fevrier-1661138.html

Meanwhile, President Macron has lost three ministers this week (as people leave to seek election to other positions) bringing with it a new record for resignations. 

https://www.bfmtv.com/politique/departs-de-ministres-record-battu-pour-emmanuel-macron-1661210.html

Ed

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By coincidence President Macron was in Angers today. They must have kept it very quiet as no one mentioned it yesterday. Nevertheless a few hundred protesters came out to welcome him. The city was on lock down and the shopkeepers were complaining about the disruption to their business. 

https://angers.maville.com/actu/actudet_-angers.-visite-de-macron-une-ville-morte-les-commercants-ralent_loc-3682927_actu.Htm

He then drove from Angers through the village where we live to the next appointment. His convoy was about two minutes behind me on the road and I was wondering why there were police at every junction and roundabout. He swept through while I was parking to collect my daughters from school. It must cost a fortune each time he sets foot outside the Palace. Even in Angers , which is known for its tolerant, middle-class attitudes, there were shouts and insults. His popularity has dropped again recently. Ed

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16 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

 It must cost a fortune each time he sets foot outside the Palace. 

Yes but he does need to visit the peasants from time to time 🤣

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Yesterday's protest in Paris passed off relatively quietly but there were some serious clashes in Toulouse. 

President Macron is due to make a televised address tomorrow at 8pm French time to draw conclusions following his 'grand national debate' and set out his plans to reform France. 

Ed

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Out of interest Ed - as a resident in France  - is this saga one you watch with passive interest, or is it something that is a source of real worry?

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Good question! I can't say I'm massively worried about the immediate risk of events spiralling out of control. I'm more concerned that he doesn't give too much away to the protesters as they can't be seen to win. If he's just setting up any successor for even worse protests when they try to repair the damage he's done then that's the bigger worry. Once people get a taste for paying less tax and giving nothing back then that's going to be very hard to overturn. I'd be surprised if any of the measures take effect before the EU elections as that will be his way of blackmailing the population into voting for his party. We'll just have to wait and see. Ed. 

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Like Ed we do not really get bothered on a daily basis, and the French just love to protest. If it is not the train drivers on strike some group will always find fault with the country with about the highest taxation. The flip side, the highest social funding budget, eventually gets noticed again. Whatever, it will not stop some group, small or large, complaining, demonstrating, destroying speed cameras, herding sheep through town centres, dumping potatoes on roundabouts or manure on tax office steps.... French democracy and debate in action.

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President Macron's speech this evening might be in doubt now as a major fire has sadly broken out in the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. I can't see the two major networks going straight to the Elysee at 8pm when most of the population are more interested in the breaking news. And if they do cut to the president then the audience figures will be pretty low. I guess the speech is pre-recorded about an hour prior to broadcast to allow for cuts so they can run it later if necessary. Unfortunately, going up in flames may be an appropriate metaphor for Macron's presidency. Ed. 

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