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Macron to announce response to French national debate




French media have reported that the president’s plans include cutting income tax for lower-paid taxpayers, restoring the pegging of some pensions to inflation, halting school and hospital closures.

Macron’s announcement had initially been scheduled for April 15, but was postponed after a devastating fire broke out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The “great national debate,’’ which ran from January to March, involved over 10,000 local meetings as well as 16,337 “books of grievances’’ in town halls around the country.

Over 500,000 people made policy suggestions online on a dedicated website.

The Yellow Vests movement initially opposed planned fuel tax rises, but has raised broader demands for lower taxes, higher pay and more direct democracy since those tax hikes were cancelled.

Protests every Saturday since mid-November have repeatedly seen violent clashes with police and vandalism in Paris and other major cities.

On April 20 clashes, several persons were targeted by police rubber bullet fire and two journalists were arrested, according to press freedom group Reporters without Borders (RSF).