Macron vows to keep reforming France despite protests

Macron vows to keep reforming France despite protests
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, center, and members of the French government arrives at the Elysee Palace after the traditional New Year government breakfast in Paris, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is vowing to keep reforming the country as anti-government protesters plan a new round of demonstrations this weekend.

Macron said “we must probably make further changes, be more radical,” in comments reported by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux after the first Cabinet meeting of the year on Friday.

Planned changes notably concern France’s national unemployment insurance and pension system.

Griveaux called on the French to express their views during a “national debate” organized in the coming weeks in all regions, rather than by taking to the streets.

He called those who are still protesting within the yellow vest movement “agitators who want insurrection and to overthrow the government.”

Yellow vest protesters plan new demonstrations Saturday in Paris and other cities. The movement appeared to lose strength in recent weeks.