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A gilded cage? Elysées Palace, Paris. Stock photo from Pexels

French president was ready to flee from Yellow Vests in helicopter

French President Emmanuel Macron, who was hiding in the Élysée Palace during “Act IV” of the Yellow Vest protests in Paris, had a helicopter on standby to escape in case protesters broke through the barriers.

Published: December 15, 2018, 8:23 am

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    Paris

    In an unprecedented show of security, including 500 republican guards, a hundred police and gendarmes armed with water cannons, drones, and other anti-riot measures, Macron was ready to flee the city in a helicopter, Le Dauphine reported.

    The French leader, during the Benalla affair, reportedly said: “Let them come get me…” while he was also hiding from the media.

    Apparently some Yellow Vests remembered his remark, and before the demonstration on Saturday, December 8, they promised to march on the presidential palace, according to Le Canard enchaîné.

    The daily staff at the palace had been asked to stay at home.

    In a declared no-man’s land security forces surrounded the Concorde, the Elysée and the National Assembly, without counting the 8 000 members of the police stationed in Paris with armoured vehicles.

    And during that time, Jupiter, according to several witnesses, was quite pale, noted the satirical weekly. Jupiter is the nickname of Macron.

    Witnesses at the Élysée last Saturday described the French leader as “marble-like” facing the protests which saw high levels of violence in Paris but also in other French cities like Toulouse and Bordeaux.

    The protests have weakened the French president greatly. He has since offered several more concessions including a 100 euro per month increase in the minimum wage as well as tax breaks for overtime work and calling for companies to give employees untaxed year-end bonuses.

    French author Michel Houellebecq has meanwhile warned that the “range of permissible opinions” that people are allowed to express publicly is “steadily shrinking”.

    In an opinion piece for American magazine Harper’s, the author warned that freedom of speech was being eroded.

    Houellebecq, in his novel Submission, warned of an Islamist takeover of France. The book was published on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

    “The Americans are no longer prepared to die for the freedom of the press,” writes Houellebecq, adding, “Besides, what freedom of the press? Ever since I was twelve years old, I’ve watched the range of opinions permissible in the press steadily shrinking.”

    He cited the ongoing witch hunt in France against conservative writer Éric Zemmour, author of The French Suicide, who argues that France has been damaged by neo-liberalism, Islam and political correctness.

    In 2002, Houellebecq was put on trial for “racial hatred” but later acquitted after describing Islam as “the dumbest religion” during an interview. Like Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders, he has had to rely on armed protection due to threats against his life by jihadists since.

    Houellebecq also pointed out that Europe has always been in a historical struggle against Islam and that “that struggle has simply returned to the foreground”.

    “It’s my belief that we in Europe have neither a common language, nor common values, nor common interests, that, in a word, Europe doesn’t exist, and that it will never constitute a people or support a possible democracy (see the etymology of the term), simply because it doesn’t want to constitute a people,” writes Houellebecq. His anti-European remarks blend in with a popular trend in the mainstream US media.

    “In short, Europe is just a dumb idea that has gradually turned into a bad dream, from which we shall eventually wake up.”

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