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'Yellow vest' demonstrations underway in Paris

Hundreds of "yellow vest" protesters take to the streets in Paris. CNN's Melissa Bell reports.

Posted: Dec 9, 2018 4:05 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2018 4:19 PM

President Donald Trump blamed the Paris climate accord as demonstrations in France continued to protest over an increase in fuel tax and other grievances.

"The Paris Agreement isn't working out so well for Paris," Trump tweeted Saturday morning. "Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting 'We Want Trump!' Love France."

Trump's tweet comes as French police detained more than 200 people in Paris and fired tear gas on protestors during a fourth weekend of demonstrations.

The demonstrations in Paris have erupted into the worst riots France has witnessed in decades and a political crisis for French President Emmanuel Macron. The movement began as a rebuke of the country's fuel price hikes and evolved to a broader protest against the cost of living pressures and anger at Macron's government.

In his tweet Saturday, Trump also reiterated that Paris protesters have been chanting "we want Trump" -- a claim that remains unfounded.

Since taking office in May 2017, Macron has been a champion of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, reaffirming his commitment as Trump announced last year that he was withdrawing the United States from the accord.

Many of the protesters -- known as "gilets jaunes" or "yellow vests" -- are angry with Macron for extending the environmental policies implemented under his predecessor, former President François Hollande.

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the planned tax hike -- part of measures aiming to combat climate change -- would be delayed by six months, from January 1 to mid-2019, in hopes of subduing the protests.

"I am glad that my friend (Macron) and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago," Trump tweeted later Tuesday. "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."

The next day, Macron's office announced that the tax increases would not be introduced in 2019.

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