Yellow vest protesters are taking part in rallies for the eight weekend (Image: Getty)
A man runs from a burning bin at a yellow vest protest in Rouen (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
The movement made up largely of working and lower middle-class citizens has won widespread public approval as it is seen by many as a means of making the voices of ordinary men and women heard. But after months of unrest in Paris and other French cities, Benjamin Griveaux said the gilets jaunes are not interested in the three-month debate on the reforms promised by Mr Macron, but instead want to overthrow the young president. Speaking at a press conference on Friday after the weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Griveaux said members of the movement “seek insurrection and basically want to overthrow the government”.
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An anti-government protester is detained by security personnel in Rouen, north-western France (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks through smoke passing burning material during a rally by the yellow vests in Rouen (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
French protesters wearing yellow vests gather on the Champs Elysees to protest (Image: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
He added: “They are henceforth involved in a political struggle to contest the legitimacy of the government and of the president of the republic.
“Those who called for a debate don’t want to participate in a big national debate.”
Mr Macron said he intends to write a letter to the French people this month outlining how he will deliver his ambitious plans.
After first dismissing the protesters as “thugs” and vowing to not bow to pressure, Mr Macron backtracked when he announced a generous £10billion package of concessions, including raising the minimum wage, taxcuts for pensioners and the abolishment of taxes on overtime pay.
A protester jump on a car during a yellow vest rally in Paris today (Image: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
Yellow vest protesters gather near a burning bin on a street in Rouen (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester dressed as a 'Marianne' – the French Republic's national symbol – joins a protest (Image: EPA/IAN LANGSDON)
Protesters gather in front of a fire at a yellow vest rally in Rouen (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
But a month after the announcement which he had hoped would defuse public anger, the yellow vests continue to pour into the capital’s street and are showing no signs of letting-up.
‘Angry France’, one of the group which makes up the yellow vests, rejected the president’s offer of a national debate.
A statement issued by the group read: “Mr President, this movement that you don’t recognise is nevertheless spreading and strengthening itself even as your fellow citizens are cudgelled, gassed and detained for hours in an unbelievable lack of respect for citizens’ rights.”
The movement, which does not have a leader, sees the 41-year-old as a ‘president of the rich’ and has accused him of being out-of-touch with the reality of many working class people who are struggling to make ends meet.
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French riot police take security measures as protesters gather in Paris (Image: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Anti-government protesters stage a rally in Rouen, north-western France today (Image: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
It comes as people began to gather in the streets of central Paris for the eight weekend of rallies which have at times turned violent when riot police clashed with demonstrators.
Hundreds of people have been arrested and 10 people have died, mostly in traffic accidents relating to yellow vest roadblocks.
Shops and restaurants have been forced to close due to vandalism and looting.