Though France’s gilets jaunes protests put on a Fifth Act this Saturday, unlike in Shakespeare, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the end of the show.
These “yellow jacket” protestors have been protesting in Paris and all throughout France for the last five weeks, making this one of the largest — and longest — protests in recent French history. What started as protests against a fuel tax hike quickly evolved into a fight for overall government aid to low-income French people, especially in rural areas. In a national address last Monday, French president Emmanuel Macron attempted to bargain with protestors by offering a minimum wage bump and a variety of labor tax cuts. These add up to about $10 billion in concessions, but the gilets jaunes were clearly not satisfied, because they came out again this weekend. Though their numbers have taken a nosedive, their remaining presence is significant.
With shops along the Champs-Élysées boarded up to protect against violent protesters, what should be a holiday shopping boom for Parisian stores has been put on hold. And it’s possible that France will see a dip in tourism, since, combined with the country’s recent terror attack, travelers and families might not see it as a safe holiday destination anymore. But with the holidays approaching, it’s hard to imagine that these protests can go on for much longer.