Following Luigi di Maio’s participation in France’s “Yellow Vests” demonstration, France called back its ambassador from Rome, causing a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
With his partner Matteo Salvini, the chief of Lega, Luigi di Maio had expressed a lot of criticism about France and its recent social movements. According to the Italian vice Prime Minister, France refuses to take migrants who become murderers on their land. At the same time, Di Maio expressed clearly his support of the “Yellow Vests”: “Don’t abandon your movement, we’re going to support you,” he said.
France decided to call back immediately its ambassador for “consultations” after “attacks without evidence from Italian’ leaders”
As for Matteo Salvini, fifteen days ago, he called French people to “escape from a very bad president.”
Accusations and criticism:
“France has never stopped to colonize many African states,” said Luigi di Maio, the Italian vice prime minister at the European Union in January. Since those words, the tension between both countries has been rising.
Italian point of view:
For Gianni del Vecchio, co-director at the Huff Post in Italy, the population opposes Luigi Di Miao’s strategy. Vincenzo Boccia, leader of the Italian employer’s movement requires that the government stop to provoke France. “The problem is that their propaganda is very strong, this way a lot of people think that what Salvini and Di Maio say about France is true.” This is also why Di Maio wants to get closer to the “Yellow Vests”, in order to show his disapproval with Emmanuel Macron and his policy.
This big crisis is the first one since the end of the Second World war and constitutes “an unacceptable provocation” for France.
Camille Chatillon, 2C
“There is clearly a tension of the police against the media,” told AFP a journalist who came last Saturday to cover the protests of Yellow Jackets in Toulouse with two other colleagues, one of whom has been “deliberately” targeted by the police and injured.
Three photographers who covered last Saturday the demonstration of Yellow Jackets in Toulouse said they were “deliberately” targeted by law enforcement. AFP reported on Sunday that one of them was wounded in the thigh by a grenade.
“If I show this wound, it is to denounce a deliberate attack by law enforcement against the press,” wrote on his Facebook page Valentin Belleville, an independent photographer at the Hans Lucas agency.
Valentin Belleville, posting a picture of his thigh on his Facebook account (© CC / Facebook / ValentinBelleville)
The tension was very noticeable Saturday afternoon on the Capitol Square in Toulouse, between the protesters descended to the number of thousands on the streets for the act 13 of the mobilization of Yellow Jackets, testifies the press. In the projectile jets of some of them, the police responded with the use of water cannon and fake bullets.
“We were all three completely isolated. The demonstrators were 50 meters behind, there was no danger for the police. I am closest to the police, my colleagues are right behind me. We wear helmets stamped “Presse”, armbands, our devices are imposing and visible”, said Valentin Belleville.
However, the three reporters decided “to get out of the demonstrators not to be between the police and them,” told AFP Ulrich Lebeuf, Liberation photographer in Toulouse, who was with Valentin Belleville and another colleague, Eric Lerbret.
“A grenade” exploded at the feet of Valentin Belleville, the agency said, adding that Ulrich Lebeuf, who has been a photo reporter for 20 years, identified it as “a de-encircling grenade.”
For Eric Lerbret, the third photographer, there is “no doubt” that they were targeted. “We are aware of the risks we are taking in covering these events, but our responsibility stops when we are deliberately targeted,” he told AFP. He regretted that photographers and videographers are more and more affected “in a context of escalating violence”.
“I ask for explanations. Why were identified journalists targeted? One clearly feels a tension of the forces of the order towards the media, those who make images,” said Ulrich Lebeuf.
The three photographers claimed to have reported to the General Inspection of the National Police (IGPN) and added that they would file a complaint.
Axel Nunes, IEJ 2C
Internet users accuse the “yellow vests” of being behind the sign “Juden” traced in yellow paint on the front of the bakery Bagelstein. The Minister of the Interior said that everything would be done “so that the author of this ignominy is condemned”. In particular, an investigation was opened for “incitement to racial hatred”.
The photo was published on many social networks on Sunday. It was taken by the musician Jean-Yves D’Angelo on the sidelines of Act 13 of the movement of yellow vests, Saturday in Paris. We discover the front of a franchise “Bagelstein” covered with a tag “Juden” (German for Jews).
The inscription refers to the anti-Semitic practice perpetrated in Nazi Germany, which consisted of painting this term on the store fronts held by Jewish people.
The managers of the restaurant have lodged a complaint, said the cofounder of the restaurant chain, Gilles Abecassis. “We are shocked, but we will answer these morons tomorrow in a quirky tone of bad boy. We want to keep our good mood,” said the head of the brand.
The government quickly reacted
The photo of the storefront was shared, among others, by politicians and associations fighting against racism and anti-Semitism. The tweets presenting the image are accompanied by captions expressing indignation and emotion in front of this act of hatred. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has expressed his desire to challenge and condemn the author of this act.
Sacha LANQUAR, IEJ 2C2
Today, driving school protest everywhere in France against driving licence reform which favors online applications and aims to reduce the cost of the driving licence.
In Paris, hundreds of driving schools were reunited at 6.30 am to a slow-down operation at Porte d’Orléans. At 8h00 am, the ring road was blocked.
Why this protest ?
In November, President Macron expressed his desire to lower “drastically the cost of the driving licence” to allow young people “to obtain the driving licence faster and cheaper.” A parliamentary mission was then led by LREM MP Françoise Dumas and Stanislas Guérini (PS). Many working meetings have been held between the trade unions and MP F. Dumas. Far from rejecting the report as a whole, the unions point out many advances. The idea of a “training continuum” is supported. It will allow secondary-school pupils and high school students to have a theoretical training in driving rules and to take the examination of the highway code during their National Universal Service (SNU).
The contradiction of the trade unions crystallizes on two points. Firstly, the end of the departmental approval, in favor of a national approval is the focus of the critics. For many years, driving schools have been subject to the supervision of the prefect, who supervised the activities, the level of skills of the driving schools. The abolition of this regional level in favor of a national approval, makes the professionals fear a lack of control of the new structures and a “low-cost” driving licence.
Quentin Velardo, IEJ 2C Group 2
After seven days of mobilisation, the “yellow vests” want to continue their actions in all of France. But without a real leader, or a union to back up the movement, where will the “yellow vests” be in the future.
Another demonstration of the “Yellow vests” will take place on Saturday 24th of November, at the Champs de Mars in Paris. After one week of blocking a large part of the territory, the demonstrators are not ready to stop until the government hears them about the rise of oil price.
This same government doesn’t hide its worries about this future demonstration, as during this week of protests, many people were badly affected by the movement. At this time, the number of wounded rises to 528 on Friday 23rd of November, amongst them 17 are really badly injured, according to the government.
Today, Christophe Castaner, the Interior Minister, has called the “yellow vests” to take their responsibilities: “When you decide to organise a march you have to assume it.” This clear message is addressed to the “yellow vests” who will be present in the Champs de Mars tomorrow. Actually, French government fears the presence of the “BlackBlocs” at the demonstration. These people, could disturb the march by their violent actions.
Some political figures try to take up the movement by giving them ideas. François Asselineau (UPR) for instance calls “yellow vests” to claim Emmanuel Macron’s destitution during tomorrow’s march.
Antoine Ducarre, IEJ 3E G2
Several international journals point out the “many mistakes” made by Emmanuel Macron, president of France, unfit to bring back together citizen of France and his government since the beginning of the Yellow Vest’s protests and the increase of fuel price.
Two deaths, five hundred and fifty two wounded, about five hundred and eighty two police arrests and four hundred and fifty in custody. Those numbers represent the assessment made by the interior ministry on Tuesday evening. The “Yellow Vests’ ” movement is a huge controversy and made the headlines of many French newspapers but also in the world.
“To most of the French citizens, his policy has not yet brought a notable improvement.”
“French people believe to be taken for fools. Quite rightly.” said the conservative German newspaper Die Welt. Foreign press doesn’t spare Emmanuel Macron about his silence on the protest. La Repubblica, an Italian daily paper also said : “a new aristocrat, away from the population’s common problems.” In Spain too, El Paìs quoted “increase of charges and decrease of wealth taxes added to Macron’ supposed arrogance.” Another German daily newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung stated: “To most of the French citizens, his policy has not yet brought a notable improvement.”
30,000 “Yellow Vest“ demonstrators are expected on Saturday November 24th in all France, against 300,000 last week. President Macron will respond to the movement on Tuesday 27th at a press conference in Paris.
Inès Rld, IEJ 3E
Promotions, rock bottom prices, good deals, today, it’s the Black Friday. For some people, it’s the opportunity to overspend. For others, the moment to remember that the Earth is already suffering from overconsumption. Now it’s time to choose.
Photo : Black Friday and the overconsumption/©Gettyimages
During Black Friday, the planet suffers from overconsumption once again. Seen in this light, “Fairy Christmas” takes a big hit. Citizens and associations are fighting against Black Friday and they hold an eco-friendly “fight back”: the Climate Friday.
The movement “Citoyens pour le climat” #ilestencoretemps (“Citizens for the climate” #thereisstilltime) counter attacks. Several associations are calling for a boycott of Amazon, Cdiscount and the others giants of e-commerce. Another movement was born in 2017 : the Green Friday. This year again, the founding members of the operation are trying to offer an alternative to Black Friday with the support of the Paris City Hall. Green Friday proposes several events in all the country ; DIY workshops, initiations to recycling, diagnostics of electrical appliances and other. The website also offers eco-friendly alternatives to consumption. It established a list of brands which will donate 15% of their turnovers of their day to green associations.
Black Friday: newcomer in France
5,740 billion euros is the amount of expenses achieved in France for last year’s Black Friday. This number is based on RetailMeNot and CRR Research studies. A continuous increase of this number can be observed since 2013, date of the first Black Friday in the country. In France, we are expecting a consumption peak this week-end. Fifty percent of the French people intend to participate in this event. Black Friday happens one month before Christmas, which allows people to buy their gifts cheaper. In order to protect the environment, Greenpeace invites “responsible citizens” to manufacture their gifts rather than buy them.
Emilia CASSAGNE, IEJ3E