Vinci’s Highways Are Latest Victims of ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests
(Bloomberg) -- French construction company Vinci SA warned France’s Yellow Vests protests will cost “tens of millions euros” after demonstrators damaged highway infrastructure in the latest sign of the movement battering the economy.
- Protesters have burned Vinci buildings and vehicles, and left trash at temporary camp sites near highway interchanges, Vinci Autoroutes said in a statement. The damage at about 250 sites will be covered by insurance, the state and the company.
- The protests initially targeted a hike in fuel tax but have escalated into violent demonstrations demanding more public services and economic equality. Wearing high-visibility vests, protesters in Paris last week torched cars and damage to shops, restaurants and property.
- The movement has already hurt the French economy. The country’s private sector contracted in December for the first time during Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. The Bank of France has cut its growth forecasts for this year and next.
- Macron last week announced a package to boost the minimum wage, scrap taxes on overtime and raise pensions. His concessions might have dented the campaign’s momentum: This weekend’s protests drew around half the number of last week’s.
- Bank of France has said the response measures could boost economic growth in 2019, after it trimmed its growth forecast for this year and next.
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