Paris — President Emmanuel Macron’s government has defended a financial relief package to quell the "yellow-vest" revolt over taxes and living standards, hoping to end protests which have spiralled into violence in Paris and other cities. Over 21-million people watched a visibly contrite Macron declare a “state of economic and social emergency” in a televised address on Monday, promising billions of euros in aid for the lowest earners. It was a stark retreat for the 40-year-old former investment banker, who until now had vigorously argued his tax policies and economic reforms were the only way to prepare France for the challenges of the 21st century. The new measures, including a €100 jump in the minimum wage in 2019, are expected to cost up to €11bn and are likely to put France on a collision course with Brussels. The government had already scrapped fuel tax increases set for January — a core demand of the yellow vests — which will cost a further €4.5bn. The country’s deficit is li...

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