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'Gilets jaunes' protester invites Euronews into her home to show her hardship

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'Gilets jaunes' protester invites Euronews into her home to show her hardship

Yellow vest protester talks to Euronews about why she is demonstrating
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Euronews - Yellow vest protester talks to Euronews about why she is demonstrating
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As Euronews continues to follow the "gilets jaunes'' ("yellow vests") crisis, one protester invited our correspondent Anelise Borges into her home to explain why she was pushed to take to the streets.

Stella Devigne, 52, is from northern France, and, for the past three weeks, part of the "yellow vests" movement.

Inside her home, she talked about the struggle to pay for food.

"This is what I buy when I go to the supermarket ...look: it's half price," she said. "You can check the date, I put it in the freezer straight away so that it preserves.

"This is what I get when I go to the supermarket. I don’t go to the shelves where the normally-priced meat is. I go where there are 50 or 60% reductions."

She then walked Anelise to the thermostat. She said she lowered the heat because she can't afford to pay the bill.

“The thermostat is at 17, 18, not more ... because it’s out of the question... the bill will go higher ... I’ll have to pay much more,” she said.

Stella explained how she has also had health problems and cannot work, and said the family live on her husband's salary.

"My husband has worked for an auto factory for the past 25 years and makes €1,700. But when you take into account the fuel, the gas, electricity ... health insurance ... insurance ... I have never been on vacation.

"So let’s just stop it ... I am so fed up. Honestly. So Macron, come over here. Come and see us at the house. I would really like to swap places," she said.

Stella is one example of those taking part in the protests.

Poverty in France has fallen by 60% over thirty years between 1970 and 2000.

But it has since started to rise. Nine million people were living below the poverty line in the country in 2016.

Daniel Quenet, a pensioner, is one of them. He lives on just over €700-a-month.

Anelise asked him what was difficult in his day-to-day life.

“To eat, for example," he said. "To get help ... sometimes we go over €1 and lose all our help ... I am going to be honest: I don’t like to beg so I stay like this and pretend everything is ok. But things are not ok."

The "yellow vests" movement started over a hike in fuel taxes.

However, it has since snowballed to include some of the country's most bitter grievances, such as the cost of living.

"Life — the "yellow vests" say — has become too difficult for the majority of the population, while a powerful minority thrive," said Anelise. "The revolution — they say — has been long in the making."