France has seen ‘breakdown in equality’, says president during national debate tour

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has conceded there has been a “clear breakdown in equality” in high-rise suburbs and housing estates on the edge of major cities as he tours France to try to stem the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) anti-government protests.

Macron said the state must “guarantee social justice” and stop people in deprived suburban areas becoming trapped “under a form of social house arrest” as he appeared at a town hall building south of Paris to debate for several hours with mayors and community activists on Monday. But he hinted that further public spending cuts could be made. “We can do better while spending less, if we spend in the right places,” he argued.

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