Doubts greet Macron letter to quell French yellow vest anger

French President Emmanuel Macron poses next to a traditional epiphany cake at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Ian Langsdon

French President Emmanuel Macron poses next to a traditional epiphany cake at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Ian Langsdon

A French riot policeman throws a canister of smoke during clashes with yellow vest protesters in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Author

A French riot policeman throws a canister of smoke during clashes with yellow vest protesters in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Author

Demonstrators wearing yellow vests walk on the highway in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Authorities deployed thousands of security fo

Demonstrators wearing yellow vests walk on the highway in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Authorities deployed thousands of security fo

PARIS (AP) — Yellow vest protesters and political rivals say a sweeping "letter to the French" from President Emmanuel Macron doesn't go far enough to quell national anger at his policies.

Macron's letter explains how he's addressing the movement's concerns through a "grand debate" in local meetings around the country starting Tuesday. The debate will focus on taxes, public services, climate change and democracy.

Yellow vest representative Jeremy Clement told BFM television Monday that the letter "settles part of the problem" but doesn't go far enough to address sinking purchasing power.

Protester Jerome Rodrigues told CNews television that Macron failed to recognize "the urgency" of concerns of low-income workers and retirees.

Others criticized Macron for ruling out a restoration of France's wealth tax. Opposition lawmakers also criticized the letter.