French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that one must listen to the protests of the "yellow vests", a movement that has been protesting for ten days in France against the rise in taxes on fuel, but said that it will not give up this measure.
"We must listen to the protests of social alarm, but we must not do so renouncing our responsibilities for today and tomorrow, because there is also an environmental alarm," the French president said in a speech at the Elysee Palace.
"I have learned from the last few days that we should not leave the course when it is correct," the president added.
However, reaching out to the protesters, he announced that taxes on fuels will be adapted according to fluctuations in the price of a barrel of oil, to protect the pockets of the most modest citizens.
"We must adapt the increase of this tax depending on the oil market," he said.
"I refuse to let the ecological transition accentuate the inequalities between territories and further complicate the lives of our fellow citizens who live in rural or peri-urban areas," said the head of state in a speech of almost an hour in which he addressed a wide range of issues related to energy and transport.
The movement of the so-called "yellow vests" was born a few weeks ago in France against an increase in taxes on fuels, but has become a general protest against the loss of purchasing power and taxes considered by many excessive.
A first national mobilization brought together about 300,000 people around the country ten days ago and around 100,000 last Saturday, including 8,000 in Paris, where there were violent clashes between protesters and police on the famous Avenue des Champs Elysees .
Its name, "yellow vests", refers to the phosphorescent garments that every motorist in France should use in case of an incident on a road to have greater visibility and that has become the "symbol" of the movement that emerged on social networks.