This content is not available in your region

Trump among populist leaders to applaud efforts of Gilets Jaunes

Access to the comments Comments
By Lindsey Johnstone
A man dons a Macron mask at a Gilets Jaunes protest in Marseille
A man dons a Macron mask at a Gilets Jaunes protest in Marseille   -   Copyright  REUTERS

Opponents of French President Emmanuel Macron have been lauding the Gilets Jaunes protests which engulfed France for a fourth weekend running, after anger sparked by a proposed rise in fuel prices has developed into an assault on the president's policies and style.

US President Donald Trump referred to the demonstrations in a series of tweets over the last week, saying that he was "glad that protestors and his friend Emmanuel Macron agreed with him" that "the Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries".

Trump announced he was pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement − an accord on climate change designed to mitigate global warming through emission reduction, signed by 195 countries − in June 2017.

He went on to say that the Paris Agreement was not "working out so well for Paris" and claimed protesters had been chanting "We want Trump!"

Meanwhile, Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon said that the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protesters were "exactly the type of person who elected Trump and voted for Brexit".

In 2017 Bannon founded The Movement, along with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, a non-profit organisation to promote economic nationalism and far-right populism in Europe – with the intention of creating a populist "supergroup" bloc ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections.

Speaking at a far-right conference in Brussels, as the guest of Belgian right-wing populist and Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang, Bannon said: "To run a country I would rather have 100 yellow vests than 100 Goldman Sachs officials."

Salvini, a vocal opponent of Macron, has also tweeted his support for the gilets jaunes, referring to protestors as "the forgotten thousands who have been slaughtered by the French government".

Leader of Dutch far-right, anti-Islam party PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid, or Party for Freedom) Geert Wilders meanwhile tweeted a picture which appeared to show a man in a yellow vest being removed from the Dutch parliament with the caption: "So yellow vests may not be in the public gallery of the second chamber but burkas can. Do you understand it? Madness."