Italy And France’s Elites Spar Over Reaction To Economic And Social Woes

A demonstrator wearing a yellow vests reading "Macron, Santa Claus for the rich, enemy of the French people" takes part to a demonstration called by the CGT (General Working Confederation) union, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 in Paris. Workers, public servants, and retired people were invited to march during a strike called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) union.
A demonstrator wearing a yellow vests reading "Macron, Santa Claus for the rich, enemy of the French people" takes part to a demonstration called by the CGT (General Working Confederation) union, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 in Paris. Workers, public servants, and retired people were invited to march during a strike called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) union. Michel Euler / AP Photo
A demonstrator wearing a yellow vests reading "Macron, Santa Claus for the rich, enemy of the French people" takes part to a demonstration called by the CGT (General Working Confederation) union, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 in Paris. Workers, public servants, and retired people were invited to march during a strike called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) union.
A demonstrator wearing a yellow vests reading "Macron, Santa Claus for the rich, enemy of the French people" takes part to a demonstration called by the CGT (General Working Confederation) union, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 in Paris. Workers, public servants, and retired people were invited to march during a strike called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) union. Michel Euler / AP Photo

Italy And France’s Elites Spar Over Reaction To Economic And Social Woes

France has recalled its ambassador to Rome after Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio met with French Yellow Vest protesters. Another Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, an ally of French right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, has frequently criticized French President Emmanuel Macron. When Di Maio expressed hope that the Yellow Vests’ “wind of change has crossed the Alps,” France accused Italy of the “worst provocation” since the beginning of WWII. The Yellow Vest movement, which started last November as a working class grassroots protest against France’s gas tax, has taken on a xenophobic and reactionary character according to Alexander Hurst in The New Republic. He writes that “significant parts of the left have responded to the idea that Macron is an ‘ultra-neoliberal’—so much so that they have chosen to be a sidecar to the destabilizing agenda of the far-right.” Hurst joins Worldview to discuss Macron’s handling of the Yellow Vest movement, and how to distinguish between justified economic anxiety with racist upheaval.