French Current Events – update on les gilets jaunes Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary

It’s been about a month since I first reported on les manifestations (the protests) in France being led (?) by les gilets jaunes (the yellow vests). Sadly, while the ampleur (scale/volume/size) of the manifestations has gone down since then, they have become more violent.

Les dernières infos / The lastest updates

Since their peak in December, the weekly protests by les gilets jaunes have dwindled in size, but not in impact. In any protest movement, the line between legitimate protester and les casseurs (thugs, the word has its origins in the verb casser / to break) can be difficult to see, but as the numbers of protesters has decreased, the level of violence has increased as you can see in this report that highlights both individual acts of extreme violence like l’ex-boxeur professionnel (the ex-professional boxer) seen at the start of this clip who attacks two different police or group attacks like the one in which un chariot élévateur (a fork-lift) was used to break into the office of the porte-paroles (spokesperson) of the French government.

Click here to read more and to see a clip from FranceInfo on the topic.

 Les doléances / The grievances

As you can imagine, knowing what is driving a movement like les gilets jaunes can be difficile (difficult) when there are no clear leaders. In order to get to the root causes, Emmanuel Macron, le président de la République (the French president) has proposed a grand débat national (a great national debate) on l’écologie, la fiscalité, la démocratie, et l’organisation de l’Etat (the environment, the economy, democracy, and the structure of the country) but le français moyen (the average Fench-person) has more immediate concerns on their mind. Notable among their concerns: l’augmentation du smic (SMIC is le salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance so this would be an increase to the minimum wage) and a reapplication of l’ISF (l’Impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune, un impôt sur les grandes fortunes / tax on very large fortunes).

Click here to read more and to see a clip from FranceInfo on the topic.

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris