French minister warns that "yellow vest" protests risk affecting labor market
PARIS, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The anti-government "yellow vest" protests would affect the French job market and risk the income of up to 100,000 workers, Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud warned on Tuesday.
"It's about 10,000 employees that are under the threat (to lose their jobs) per week," Penicaud told France's CNews television.
"There are already 58,000 workers who are threatened to be laid off. If we continue like this, it would be 80,000, it would be 100,000," she added.
Penicaud said the government has already allocated 32 million euros (about 36.6 million U.S. dollars) to help pay "those who cannot go to work because of the violence."
"We are quite concerned about that because it is not a short-term problem. There are some unemployment risks due to the violence, which is unacceptable," she stressed.
Since November 2018, people who are angry at the high fuel tax and unfair economic reforms have blocked roads, occupied highway toll booths and staged nationwide protests.
Past Saturdays have been marked by violent demonstrations in which protestors burned vehicles and barricades, and clashed with police, in cities across France.
Paris, the country's top tourist destination, has been put on lockdown over weekends, forcing shops and restaurants to shut down amid riot fears.
Statistics from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) show the "yellow vest" movement will take a toll on the French domestic economy, forecasting a slower growth of 1.5 percent for 2018, down by 2 percentage points from a previous estimate.