Italy's deputy prime minister supports France's Yellow Vest movement
Italy's deputy prime minister and minister of the interior Matteo Salvini, accused French president Emmanuel Macron of being against his own people.
Iran Press/ Europe: In an extraordinary public EU feud, Italy’s Matteo Salvini and his coalition partner have thrown their support behind France’s Yellow Vest movement, while Salvini also accused President Emmanuel Macron of being against his own people, according to Russia Today.
"I support honest citizens who protest against a governing president [who is] against his people", said the Italian deputy prime minister.
Salvini, who is also the leader of the Northern League added that he firmly condemns the recent violence that has marred the protests in France.
Vice-President of the Council of Ministers of Italy Luigi Di Maio, who is the leader of the Five-Star Movement (M5S), urged the demonstrators on his party’s blog 'not to weaken'.
Di Maio said that politics, in both France and Italy, has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people.
In Francia, come in Italia, la politica è diventata sorda alle esigenze dei cittadini, tenuti fuori dalle decisioni più importanti che riguardano il popolo. Il grido che si alza forte dalle piazze francesi è uno: “fateci partecipare!”. https://t.co/cBJvUwEk5s
— Luigi Di Maio (@luigidimaio) January 7, 2019
Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said that the government will crack down on unauthorized protests and toughen punishment for rioting in the wake of anti-government Yellow Vest demonstrations which began in November.
The new measures will significantly toughen punishment for people who participate in riots, Philippe said, while adding that it was still “necessary to preserve the freedom” to demonstrate in France. Those who want to protest peacefully should not be punished, he said.
(France has deployed thousands of security forces to the capital Paris ahead of new round of massive “yellow vest” protests).
The announcement comes as part of new 'public order' measures unveiled by the government after the Yellow Vest protests resulted in violence against police officers and government buildings.
Philippe’s office said in a statement on Monday that the government would take a very firm stance against the continued unacceptable violence across the country.
The newly announced measures to curb the nationwide protest movement received mixed reactions. While Mayor of Toulouse Jean-Luc Moudenc said he was satisfied with Philippe's move, opposition politicians such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon sarcastically claimed that the PM is totally disconnected from reality.
The Yellow Vest movement began in mid-November 2018 as a protest against a proposed hike in fuel costs. It has since grown to encompass wider discontent among French people over living standards and Macron’s policies. At its peak, more than 280,000 people gathered to protest on the Champs-Elysees on November 17.
The movement also spread to Belgium and the Netherlands in a short time.
Three-quarters of the French are dissatisfied with Emmanuel Macron’s policies and have appallingly little trust in his ministers, a new opinion poll by Odexa has revealed.
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