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6 Dec, 2018 14:16

Elysee fears ‘putschists’, coup attempt during Yellow Vests protests this weekend – media

Elysee fears ‘putschists’, coup attempt during Yellow Vests protests this weekend – media

With more Yellow Vests protests approaching this weekend Elysee Palace is worried about a possible coup attempt. Calls have been made to attack parliamentarians and police forces, French media report.

Even though the French government abandoned the fuel tax hike after sweeping protests, the movement still calls upon its followers to gather on December 8. “The Act IV” will be held under the motto “we stay on our course.” The Facebook event has already counted 6,000 people who wish to participate and 22,000 others who are “interested.”

READ MORE: 'Hypocrite': Macron takes heat over Twitter post on ‘pollution deaths’ in France

On Thursday Eric Drouet one of the movement's most famous leaders announced the Yellow Vests plans to approach the residence of Emmanuel Macron. “Saturday will be the final outcome, Saturday is the Elysee, we all would like to go to the Elysee,” he said.

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The intelligence services have reported to the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the president, that there have been “calls to kill” and “carry arms to attack” parliamentarians, government officials and police officers, Le Figaro newspaper said on Thursday.

“They are putschists. [There is] a coup attempt,” a source claimed. The ministry has even been reportedly instructed to forbid its staff and ministers from working this weekend.

Security forces were also tipped that Saturday’s demonstrations may be hit by unprecedented violence caused by both “radicalized…extreme right and extreme left,” Le Figaro added.

Yellow Vest protests, named after high-visibility jackets all drivers in France must carry in their vehicles, are entering their third week. Started as unprompted rallies called on social media against fuel price hikes and Macron’s unpopular reforms, they have evolved into one of the most dangerous challenges for the nation in recent decades.

December 1 protests turned violent across the whole country and saw over 130 people injured and more than 400 arrested. Four people, including an elderly woman, died amid the fierce clashes between rioters and officers.

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The French government had to concede to the protesters’ demands and abandoned the fuel tax hike plan – at least for the 2019 budget. However, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who broke the news, did not clarify whether Paris might reintroduce the hike in a budget update later in 2019.

The real problem lies in the government that has lost touch with its people, Yellow Vest protesters recently told RT. The government has to “put humane attitude first, and not the money,” one more demonstrator said. Another added that they “would prefer to be at work, than to find [themselves] on the streets shouting, hoping for nothing.”

According to Jean Bricmont, a French writer and political commentator, the fiery protests have more to do with the “incompetent,” EU-dependent government policy than the rising gas prices. “The revolt is not just about the gas prices, it’s a general revolt against the policy of the government,” he told RT.

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