French president Emmanual Macron has delivered a speech on Monday raising the issue of the yellow vests protests that have been shaking France recently.
The French president is addressing the nation for the first time following four weeks of violent anti-government riots in Paris and other cities.
Macron is expected to voice “immediate and concrete measures” that would be used as a response to dissatisfied protestors.
Earlier, the French leader’s right-wing opponent Marine Le Pen urged Macron to admit the nation’s suffering and deliver a ‘very strong responses’.
During his speech Macron stressed that the violence during the yellow vests protests cannot be justified. He also said that he declares the state of economic and social emergency in his country.
“Today, I am announcing an economic emergency in our country,” Macron said in an TV address to the nation.
The president said that he had asked the government to develop measures aimed at improvement of the social situation in the country.
“I ask the government and the parliament to do everything possible so that you could live better thanks to your work since the start of the next year. The minimal wage will be increased by 100 euros [over $113] per month starting from 2019,” Macron noted.
“From tomorrow, the prime minister will start presenting these measures to lawmakers,” the president said.
At the same time he pointed out that the wave of violence during the protests could not be justified.
“We need to restore the state order and we are going to take all measures required to do so,” the French president added.
France has been facing a wave of mass protests since mid-November, when the so-called yellow vest protesters — named after the obligatory attribute of French drivers — took to the streets to rally against rising fuel prices and a planned hike in tax on diesel and carbon fuels.
The yellow vest rallies have been marked by violent clashes with police officers, who have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protesters.