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French PM calls for quick tax cuts to appease protesters

Jerome Rodriguez, center, a prominent figure of the yellow vests movement takes part in a rally in Paris, France, Saturday, April 6, 2019. Protesters from the yellow vest movement are taking to the streets of France for a 21st straight weekend, with hundreds gathered for a march across Paris, one of numerous protests around the country. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

PARIS — France’s prime minister has called for quick tax cuts to respond to the anger expressed through the yellow vests protests across the country.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday unveiled the results of a three-month “grand debate” launched by President Emmanuel Macron in response to the protests so ordinary people could express their views on France’s economy and democracy.

Philippe says “the debate clearly indicates the direction: we must cut taxes and cut them more quickly.” At the same time, however, he said the government must cut public spending.

Macron is expected to unveil a series of economic measures next week.

The yellow vest movement, prompted by a fuel tax hike in November, has expanded into a broader revolt against Macron’s policies, which protesters see as favouring the rich and big businesses.

The Associated Press