George Martin, Daily Mail, January 7, 2019
Italy’s populist leaders have thrown their support behind France’s ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters in a remarkable show of defiance against French President Emmanuel Macron.
Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and Prime Minister Matteo Salvini urged rioters throughout France ‘not to weaken’ as they threw their support behind the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ on Monday.
‘Yellow vests, do not weaken!’, Di Maio, who heads the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), wrote on his party’s blog.
‘I support honest citizens protesting against a president who governs against his people,’ Salvini said in a statement, while ‘firmly’ condemning recent protest violence.
Macron has faced weeks of rebellion over tax hikes and educational reforms which have seen thousands of protesters engage in heated battles with armed police across France.
What began as a grassroots rebellion against diesel taxes and the high cost of living has morphed into something more perilous for Macron – an assault on his presidency and French institutions.