Macron's main measures in response to 'yellow vest' protests

PARIS (Reuters) - The following are key quotes from a rare press conference by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, responding to months of 'yellow vest' protests with new measures. ON MACRON'S GOVERNMENT REFORMS 'I asked myself: Should we stop everything that was done over the past two years

Reuters April 26, 2019 03:06:45 IST
Macron's main measures in response to 'yellow vest' protests

Macrons main measures in response to yellow vest protests

PARIS (Reuters) - The following are key quotes from a rare press conference by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, responding to months of "yellow vest" protests with new measures.

ON MACRON'S GOVERNMENT REFORMS

"I asked myself: Should we stop everything that was done over the past two years? Did we take a wrong turn? I believe quite the opposite."

ON FRANCE'S TOWN HALL DEBATES AFTER THE PROTESTS

"We are above all children of the Enlightenment. And it is from these debates, these deliberations, this capacity to contradict one another ... that good solutions can emerge for the country."

ON SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS

"We must maintain public service (in the countryside)... guarantee the access for all to health services and guarantee that no school or hospital will be closed without the mayor's approval."

ON REFORMING FRANCE'S CIVIL SERVICE AND ELITE SCHOOLS

"I want to reform our senior public service. This is not a meritocratic system any more... We don't need job-for-life protection."

Macron also confirmed he would scrap France's Ecole Nationale d'Administration, a postgraduate school that was founded in 1945 by Charles de Gaulle to train a postwar administrative elite drawn from across all social classes.

ON SCRAPPING FRANCE'S WEALTH TAX

Macron ruled out re-introducing the wealth tax - known in France as the ‘ISF’ - that his government replaced by a tax lucrative property deals and real estate assets.

"Since it's a pragmatic reform, it will be re-evaluated in 2020. If it's not efficient, we'll amend it."

ON TAX CUTS

Macron said he wanted to "significantly" reduce income tax to alleviate the burden on the middle classes.

"Workers who pay income tax have widely contributed in past decades. So I'll be simple, I don't want tax increases. I want cuts for those who work by significantly reducing the income tax."

Macron outlined some of the ways the tax cuts would be financed:

"I've asked the government to implement this tax reduction by closing some corporate tax loopholes, making people work more and cutting public spending."

ON IMMIGRATION

Macron called for better control of borders at the national and European level. He said changes should be brought to the Schengen Area, even if it led to a reduction of its scope or to fewer member states.

"To be open, you need limits; to welcome someone, you need a house, so you need borders."

ON WORKING MORE AND RETIREMENT

"We have to work more, I've said it. France works a lot less than its neighbours. We have to have a real debate about this."

Macron said he did not wish to push back the legal retirement age beyond the current threshold of 62.

But he also outlined the need for measures that would require French citizens to contribute for a longer period to the pension system before retiring.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain, Leigh Thomas, Sarah White, Michel Rose, Marine Pennetier and Jean-Baptiste Vey)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.