How much stamina do the yellow vests have?
The French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner ordered the police to clear the last of the yellow vests' barricades on Monday. Only 33,000 people across the nation took part in the protests on the weekend, according to official accounts. While some commentators see the movement on its last legs, others hope it will get a second wind.
Protest movement doomed to failure
Philosopher Slavoj Žižek discusses the yellow vests' goals in The Independent:
“Amid the explosion of demands and expressions of dissatisfaction it is clear that the protesters don't really know what they want, they don't have a vision of the society they want to live in, just a jumble of demands that are impossible to meet within the system although they are directed at the system.. … Let's imagine that the protesters somehow win, take power and act within the coordinates of the existing system (as Syriza did in Greece) – what would have happened then? Probably some kind of economic catastrophe.”
Macron forced to change course
The protests will gradually subside, Dnevnik believes:
“The yellow vest movement is slowly coming to an end. On the one hand because it has been able to prevent the fuel tax hike and achieve a raise in the minimum wage, and on the other because it has been overshadowed by the terrorist attack in Strasbourg. But the popular discontent has by no means dissipated and clearly the Elysée is also aware of this. This is what prompted Macron's government to change its course, above all with an eye to the European elections, and to announce that it will give more priority to social issues in European politics. That, however, could also call the deficit limit into question.”
Yellow anger needs a goal
The Frankfurter Rundschau recommends that the yellow vests take a break to examine their goals:
“Demanding tax cuts but more state benefits doesn't go together. The fact that the only thing that they can agree on is that Macron must go won't help if they don't have any idea what or who could replace him. It's also necessary to take a stance vis-à-vis the attempts by the far right and also the leftist populists to usurp the movement. It has managed to bring people who have never demonstrated onto the streets. It would be a shame if the yellow anger were to evaporate amidst the chaos now. Because movement is needed.”