Gilets Jaunes: 'Social pact' pledge on green future

President Macron promises more government help for rural areas and for anyone wanting to make the switch to greener transport

President Macron is promising to create a "pacte sociale" to help people pay for the so-called "ecological transition" by switching more environmentally friendly vehicles and less polluting ways to heat their homes.

Some of the measures were due to be announced after Monday's cabinet meeting, but the President is set to present a fuller outline in a speech on Tuesday, in which he is expected to "set [France on] a new course for energy transition".

Cabinet was due on Monday to discuss a bill outlining the future of transport and mobility in France. It has been put forward by Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne and is expected to include measures to improve public transport links in rural areas to reduce people's dependence on cars beyond well-established urban links.

President Macron is also set to organise a summit on climate change, according to the Journal du Dimanche, in a bid to cool the debate on energy policy and how it affects taxes.

The government's co-ordinated response comes following a week of grassroots protests against planned increases in a green tax on fuel.

Some 100,000 protesters took to the streets across the country on Saturday - fewer than half the number who took part a week earlier - though a demonstration on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on Saturday descended into violence as protesters clashed with riot police. Damage on the famous thoroughfare is estimated in the hundreds of thousands of euro.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said he would organise a meeting on Monday of business representatives to discuss how the gilets jaunes' protests, which have seen supermarket entrances and transport hubs blockaded, have affected trade.

Demonstrations are continuing on Monday. Filter blockades are in place on roads in a number of regions - notably around Rouen and Le Havre - while traffic is running normally again following a weekend of disruption on the A10 at the Virsac toll area and the A6 between at the Limas toll between Lyon and Mâcon.

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