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Macron offers tax cuts in bid to quell 'yellow vest' unrest

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Macron offers tax cuts in bid to quell 'yellow vest' unrest

Macron offers tax cuts in bid to quell 'yellow vest' unrest

At the first major news conference of his presidency, President Emmanuel Macron pledged tax cuts as he outlined his response to months of anti-government protests that have challenged his authority.

Lauren Anthony reports.


Macron offers tax cuts in bid to quell 'yellow vest' unrest

France's President Emmanuel Macron pledged to cut taxes in a bid to restore calm on Thursday.

Outlining a broad new policy push - shaped by nearly six months of anti-government 'yellow vest' protests.

In the first major news conference of his presidency- and almost two years into his five-year term... Macron is under pressure to settle the unrest that has plagued France since November.

Marches began over fuel tax hikes - but soon sprialled into a broader backlash.

Decrying what they see as political establishment elitism - and expressing anger over high living costs.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "I think the current and the slated transformations in our country should not be stopped because they answer deeply to the feelings of our fellow citizens.

They may not have been implemented quickly enough for some, not radical enough, not human enough, but I think sincerely that the directions taken in these first two years, in the eyes of many, were right." Macron's first wave of measures - put forward last December - did little to calm frustrations among lower-income workers.

And he's struggled to shake off a reputation as a "president of the rich" since cutting a so-called wealth tax early in his presidency.

With such criticism leveled at him - opinion poll ratings show his support at around 30 percent.

The conflict has seen Macron's ambitious reform agenda largely derailed.

His pension and unemployment insurance plans for 2019 showing little progress so far.

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