Yellow Vests: Emmanuel Macron Promises a “Security Answer”

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After last yellow vests demonstration, Emmanuel Macron promises a security answer

After the destruction of the Champs-Elysees during act 18 of the Yellow Vests movement, Emmanuel Macron met the Prime Minister and several members of the government on Monday.

Oppressed by the opposition after another day of violence on the Champs-Elysees on the sidelines of the movement of yellow vests , Emmanuel Macron went on the front line Monday 18th March, 2019 to defend the “security response” he intends to bring to ” dysfunctions “in managing the crisis.

The head of state gathered Monday at 11:30 his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his three ministers in charge of the Interior and Justice – Christophe Castaner, Laurent Nuñez and Nicole Belloubet, with their director of cabinet, and the secretary General of the Elysee, Alexis Kohler and the chief of staff of the head of state, Patrick Strzoda.

In total, a dozen people sat around a large oval table in the “green lounge” of the Elysee and kept a heavy silence while photographers and cameramen filmed, as usual, the first moments of the meeting.

“No dialogue possible”

Emmanuel Macron believes that “the only possible answer is a security response” to this new explosion of violence, commented one of his relatives. The head of state is “very determined” to ensure that acts of violence stop and believes that there is “no possible dialogue with this hard core extremist,” according to the same source.

No speech was scheduled at the Elysee at the end of this crisis meeting. Matignon, who acknowledged Sunday “dysfunctions” of the safety device facing an outbreak of violence that refers to a level of tension known in December, with the rampage of the Arc de Triomphe, is in charge of coordinating a possible communication, according to the Elysee, but it is not certain that it will take place this Monday.

Newspaper kiosk in flames on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees during the demonstration of "yellow vests" on March 16 in Paris.
Newspaper kiosk in flames on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees during the demonstration of “yellow vests” on March 16 in Paris. (© AFP / Archives / Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT)

170 million euros of damage

Meanwhile, several people are judged in immediate appearance on Monday after Saturday’s violence in Paris. The damage associated with the yellow jackets since the beginning of the movement in France was estimated at 170 million euros by the French Federation of Insurance (FFA), not counting the 18th day of mobilisation. 

Secretary of State for the Interior Laurent Nuñez rose a notch in self-criticism Monday on RTL admitting a “failure” and declaring wanting to address the responsibilities of the “chain of command.”

His statements are expected to revive speculation about a forthcoming departure of the Paris police chief, Michel Delpuech, regularly given starting between the Benalla affair and repeated polemics on the management of public order in the capital. But it is the President of the Republic and especially the Minister of the Interior who are directly indicted by the Republicans. After Lydia Guirous Sunday, it is another spokesman LR, Laurence Sailliet, who asked Monday the resignation of Christophe Castaner.

Laurent Nuñez at the National Assembly in December 2018.
Laurent Nuñez at the National Assembly in December 2018. (© AFP / Archives / Philippe LOPEZ)

Two Ministers Heard in the Senate Tuesday

In a text published on his Facebook page, Laurent Wauquiez, president of the LR, accuses President Macron, and Christophe Castaner to have “underestimated the violence” and not to have provided a “response to the height of the crisis” .

Emmanuel Macron “gave a permit to break the thugs,” denounced the leader of senators LR Bruno Retailleau with AFP, referring to a “Notre-Dame-des-Landes on the Champs-Elysees”.

Christophe Castaner and his counterpart for the Economy Bruno Le Maire will have to explain Tuesday before the commissions of the Laws and Economic Affairs of the Senate on this violence and their economic consequences.

Bruno Le Maire will also receive Monday representatives in Bercy affected sectors of activity, while the Prime Minister will meet Tuesday with the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who had asked to see after the new looting.

The opposition calls on the government to hit hard. We must “ban demonstrations” of “yellow vests” throughout France to prevent new outbreaks of violence, said Frederic Pechenard, vice president (LR) of the Paris region in charge of security.

The indignation is general after the images of looting and fire Fouquet’s restaurant, stores or a bank branch of the Champs-Elysees, a showcase of France abroad, which have turned in a loop in the media.

Violence devastating the image of the executive, especially as some media juxtaposed with those of the Head of State for a ski weekend in La Mongie and those of the Minister of the Interior embracing a young woman during a party in a Paris discotheque the week before.

“Accelerate the answer”

Violence is returning to the fore as the government hoped to emerge from the crisis with the great national debate for which the President has not hesitated to wet the shirt, chaining marathon-debates with elected officials and citizens.

Monday evening, Emmanuel Macron was in this context to exchange with sixty intellectuals at the Elysee.

The executive boasts a “success” for the government, with more than 10,300 local meetings and 1.4 million contributions on the dedicated site. He gave himself until mid-April to decide what he intends to do with the many proposals that have emerged. But the government will “definitely accelerate the response,” has advanced on BFMTV Nadia Bellaoui, one of the five guarantors of the great debate.

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