French Ambassador: Protests Against Macron, Fuel Tax Hike Are 'Full of Common Sense'
France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, said Tuesday on Special Report that the ongoing protests in the country against French President Emmanuel Macron's government are "full of common sense."
Macron issued a recorded apology on Monday following weeks of protests, ordering a tax-free bonus for employees at the end of the year and raising the minimum wage.
The citizen rebellion began as an opposition to a fuel tax hike, but has since escalated to frustrations about the economy overall.
"In a sense, the powder keg of the explosion was more or less what we are seeing in the U.S., in [the] U.K. with Brexit, everywhere," Araud said Tuesday.
He added that French citizens feel "left behind" by globalization and automation, and have also been rebelling against the country's government under Macron.
"I think that's the social background of the crisis," he said.
Araud added that protesters are saying that they're serious about fighting climate change, but also serious about their personal finances.
"It's full of common sense. When you are increasing the price of gas, especially for the people living in the rural areas, it has consequences on the standard of living," he said.
Although the relationship between France and the United States has had "bumps," Araud said, the fundamental relationship between the two countries is "excellent."