Are we to see more anti austerity protests around the globe now that the #yellowvests / #giletjaune protests in France have yielded some results? In many parts of the world, the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis has been shouldered by the working poor. Governments introduced austerity measures to bring countries back to prosperity. Meanwhile, the banks’ fortunes were quickly turned around through public finance bailouts without financial institutions feeling any significant pain.
In countries like the UK, Ireland, and France, this has led to significant financial hardship among ordinary people. Increased taxes, benefit cuts, and a lack of state spending on essential services have driven thousands of people into poverty. In the UK, foodbanks have never been busier, and, both in Ireland and the UK, homelessness continues to cost lives.
The recent #yellowvestprotests in Paris have provided insight into the frustration felt among ordinary people, not just in France but likewise in the UK, Ireland, the US, and beyond. So, are we to see more anti austerity protests?
What Are the #YellowVests Demanding?
In recent weeks, the anti austerity protestors took to the streets of Paris to voice their anger about a 20 percent hike on diesel. But their demands don’t stop there. People in France are seeking a redistribution of wealth, including raising the minimum wage, social security payments, and pensions. In the true spirit of liberté, égalité, fraternité, the protestors are deeply frustrated by the elitism of the establishment and President Macron himself.
After weeks of violent clashes, Emanuel Macron yesterday addressed the nation.
For opponents of austerity measures, Macron’s concessions will ease some frustrations. But are the Paris anti austerity protests going to mobilise people who share the same anger across the globe?