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Germany: Merkel questions left’s backing for French protests

December 12, 2018
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel answers questions of lawmakers during a parliament session of the Bundestag in Berlin, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel is criticizing as “scandalous” a German opposition party’s full-throated support for the “yellow vest” protest movement in neighboring France.

Merkel’s comment came during an exchange with Left Party lawmaker Fabio De Masi in a question-and-answer session in parliament Wednesday. The party’s leadership on Saturday praised the movement’s “resistance against the neoliberal and authoritarian course” of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Merkel told De Masi: “I find your unrestricted support for the ‘yellow vest’ protests ... scandalous, because you’re not saying a word about the violence that is being used on the streets.”

After weeks of protests, Macron on Monday announced measures to boost the spending power of retirees and low-paid workers.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to give an assessment of the financial implications of Macron’s announcement.

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