Ninth person dies in Yellow Vest protests

A ninth person has been killed in Yellow Vest protests, after being run over by a lorry. French Interior minister Christophe Castaner has said the violence must stop, as lawmakers rush to approve new tax cuts and a rise in the minimum wage.

The victim is a 61-year-old, believed to be part of the Yellow Vest protest movement.

Authorities say he was run down by a truck at a roundabout in Agen, southwestern France, where several thousand people are still holding demonstrations despite police efforts to dislodge them.

A truck was parked near a gas station when a second, in a bid to overtake it, accidentally hit the victim who had come to support other Yellow Vest protesters at the roundabout due to be cleared.

Police say the driver has been taken into custody, while a counseling service has been set up for those under shock.

“This must stop. Nine dead,” interior minister Christophe Castaner said Thursday, calling for calm during the holidays.

Concessions adopted

Further demonstrations have been planned for Saturday 22 December, even as the movement for economic justice appears to be losing momentum , notably after government concessions.

The measures announced a week ago by President Emmanuel Macron include tax cuts and a rise in the minimum wage.

Lawmakers rushed to approve them in next year’s budget that was voted in parliament on Thursday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has acknowledged that the concessions, worth some 10 billion euros, would mean France will breach the public deficit cap of 3% of gross domestic product set by EU rules.

Notwithstanding, the budget extension was approved by 182 votes to 52, with three abstentions.

Source: Modern Ghana