Macron Visits Torched Building in First Trip Outside Paris Since Saturday Violence

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron visited the riots-hit central town of Puy-en-Velay on Tuesday as he’s trying to come up with a political response to the Yellow Vests protests roiling the country.

The countryside trip is Macron’s first move outside Paris, after the capital and other major towns across the country were torn by violent spats between rioters and police forces on Saturday. Puy-en-Velay, in the Haute-Loire department, is the original constituency of The Republicans party chief and vocal Macron opponent Laurent Wauquiez.

Macron arrived in Puy-en-Velay a few hours after his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unveiled a series of measures to qualm the protest movement. The French President hasn’t spoken up since he landed back from his trip to a G20 summit in Argentina, on Sunday.

Earlier Tuesday, Philippe, in a televised address to the nation said planned fuel tax increases were frozen along with power and natural gas tariffs hikes that had planned for early 2019. The Yellow Vests movement started as a protest against high fuel taxes.

In Puy-en-Velay, the French President visited a local authority building which was torched by rioters on Saturday and spoke with civil servants and employees, his office said. His office hadn’t disclose the trip ahead.

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