French govt. could consider bringing back wealth tax

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The concessions, coming after an earlier 500-million-euro relief package for poorer households, mark the first time 40-year-old Macron has given ground in the face of public opposition.

With protesters from the "yellow vest" movement calling on social media for "Act IV" - a fourth weekend of protest - Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said 89,000 police nationwide would be deployed to stop a repeat of last Saturday's mayhem across France.

"No tax is worth putting the nation's unity in danger", Philippe said, just three weeks after insisting that the government wouldn't change course in its determination to wean French consumers off polluting fossil fuels.

France remains on edge after the "yellow vest" protests degenerated into some of the worst violence in decades in central Paris last Saturday.

In all, four people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes or accidents stemming from the protests.

Officials fear more violence this weekend after organisers called for new demonstrations, saying Macron's decision to cancel fuel tax increases and other concessions were not enough.

One of the demands from the protesters, who are mostly from rural or small-town France, is a repeal of Mr. Macron's move a year ago to cut the ISF "fortune tax" which was previously levied on high-earners.

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Two groups blockading petrol depots in Brittany said they would stand down following the announcement of the measures, which will cost public coffers some two billion euros ($2.3 billion).

Among them were a minimum pension, widespread changes to the tax system, and a reduction in the retirement age. "If at the end of these discussions no good solutions have been found, we will accept the consequences" Mr Griveaux said. "We want Macron and his entire government to resign".

"It's on the right path, but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement", she said.

More protests were expected this weekend in Paris.

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters ... in the world".

"Trump also retweeted a false claim from American conservative student activist Charlie Kirk that said: "'We want Trump' being chanted through the streets of Paris".

Around 400 people were arrested after a violent minority turned on police, throwing projectiles and vandalizing statues.

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A total of 65,000 police officers and law enforcement staff will be deployed across France on Saturday, 8,000 of whom will be in the French capital.

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Many are also anxious after Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume said Wednesday that measures aimed at improving their negotiating power with distributors would be delayed as the government grapples with the "yellow vest" movement.

Macron, the central target of the protests, has been largely invisible all week.

He also said France would impose a tax on big internet firms in 2019 if there was no consensus on a European Union-wide levy, seeking to appeal to the "yellow vests'" anti-business sentiment.

Philippe held crisis talks with representatives of major political parties on Monday, and met with Macron, who cancelled a two-day trip to Serbia.

The rioting pushed Macron's administration to back down.

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A protester wearing a yellow vest, the symbol of a French drivers" protest against higher diesel prices, poses with a sticker reading "Macron resign' as he and comrades occupy a roundabout in Gaillon, France, Thursday.

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