Brexit architect Nigel Farage has condemned France’s President Emmanuel Macron for spending more time “virtue signalling” to the world than connecting with his own people, which he said has resulted in the escalation of violence at Yellow Vest protests.
The Member of European Parliament and former UKIP leader told Trish Regan on Fox News Business Monday that while the Yellow Vest protests began with the issue of ‘green’ taxes, in its third week it has evolved to express dissatisfaction with the global ruling elite, specifically 40-year-old President Macron.
“What we saw in the last couple of days was the third week, now, of these protests and a level of violence not seen in France since the student uprising in 1968,” Mr Farage said, “so it would appear that these protests are gaining momentum.”
“It’s now more about an elite out of touch,” he explained, adding, “Macron, the great globalist, the former investment banker who rarely seems to leave Paris, virtue signalling to the world whether it’s about global warming, or about the free movement of people.
Globalist Macron spends his time virtue signalling to the world and has totally disconnected from ordinary French citizens. This is what happens when the people feel ignored. pic.twitter.com/25W8Fp2Jm3
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 4, 2018
“But he’s busy with global politics, disconnected completely from ordinary folk out there living in small-town France.
“I think the message here is that if people feel democracy isn’t working any more, that the people running them don’t understand their issues, then they’re really tempted to take direct action.”
Calling democracy a “safety valve” that stops the populous from resorting to violence on the streets, the UKIP MEP said these Yellow Vest protests, and by extension, the other solidarity movements across France and Europe,”is all about democracy.”
The first protest on November 17th saw Yellow Vests complain that the fuel tax hikes — petrol (gas) increasing by 14 per cent and diesel by 23 per cent in 12 months — were hurting the working classes and those outside of the metropolitan areas the most.
“Macron is the president of the rich and not the poor. He needs to think about the poor as well,” one protester said.
Not Enough: Yellow Vests to Reject Temporary Suspension of Fuel Tax Rises in France https://t.co/f7f8gwN9Fa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 4, 2018
Macron has hitherto maintained that despite the French public’s dissatisfaction with his Paris Climate Accord-inspired carbon taxes, he would push on with his programme and further fuel tax increases were planned for January 1st.
However, in what the French establishment believes to be a great concession “to appease the country,” Prime Minister Édouard Philippe is to announce a moratorium on the new year tax rises.
Political opponents have said that that is not enough and demanded the taxes be scrapped altogether, with a representative from the Yellow Jacket movement saying, “We will not be put to sleep by a moratorium, the issues are much wider than that.”
“The French do not want crumbs, they want the breadstick in full,” Benjamin Cauchy added.