Acclaimed Serbian actor, director, and musician Emir Kusturica told RT that France’s Yellow Vest movement is a “consequence of the corporate world taking over,” and a natural “reaction from the people.”
France’s Yellow Vest protests, which began as a reaction to a fuel tax hike and evolved into a broad national rejection of the centrist, pro-corporate policies of President Emmanuel Macron, have rocked the country for nine weeks, as over a thousand protesters have been detained and Macron’s popularity plummets.
Kusturica, whose work has tackled themes of political corruption and conflict, told RT: “Yellow Vests is the consequence of the corporate world taking over and leaving France with the capital.”
“French people are the most comfortable people in the world and they are starting to lose their privileges,” he added, and the loss of that privilege has driven them to cynicism and riots.
“It’s a consequence of the 90s,” Kusturica continued, “when the corporate world exporting factories to the cheap labor countries, which now is getting the reaction from the people.”
The veteran filmmaker and musician also turned his attention to his home country, and its relationship with Russia.
“I share with President Putin the idea of an independent, neutral Serbia that has to stay however neutral as possible,” he said. Still, Kusturica pointed out that the right of Serbs in Republika Srpska – one of the two entities that makes up Bosnia and Herzegovina – to forge closer ties with Russia must be respected.
Putin’s visit to Belgrade was a short one, but during the one-day trip, the Russian leader was met with an honor guard by the Serbian military, paid respects to Soviet soldiers who died liberating Belgrade from Nazi occupation in 1944, met Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic for official talks, and visited the Orthodox Church of St. Sava.