An MP belonging to French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche! (LREM) has proposed that “foreign powers” could be behind the violent Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) protesters, naming Italy specifically.
LREM MP Marlène Schiappa, who serves as Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men, made her comments in response to a crowdfunding campaign for French boxer Christophe Dettinger, who fought with police barehanded at Act VIII of the Yellow Vest protests in Paris in what became a viral video posted across France, L’Obs reports.
Supporters of Dettinger initially used the French crowdfunding website Leetchi to raise money for his legal costs but were shut down after raising over 146,000 euros in a 48-hour period. The site claimed that the donations had been closed due to the initial goal having been reached.
Italian Populists Back Yellow Vests While Macron’s France Pledges Crackdown https://t.co/C8xvYCSEkk
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Ms Schiappa said she wanted more information on those who donated to the cause of the boxer but added that she did not want “an Excel spreadsheet with the names of the donors of the Leetchi fundraiser, it does not concern me at all.”
“The question I asked,” she continued, “is: who finances the rioters? Foreign powers? The question is not is not incongruous, given the positions of Italian officials.”
Earlier this week Italian deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Five Star Movement Luigi Di Maio expressed his support for the movement saying, “In France, as in Italy, politics has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people. The cry that rises strongly from the French squares is ultimately: ‘let us participate!”
Populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the coalition partner of Di Maio, also gave support for the movement but condemned the violence associated with some of the protests.