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giftedviz.com December 10, 2018


FRENCH CONNECTIONS - Who are the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vest) protesters?

06 December 2018, 01:28 | Austin Hogan

'We Are In a State of Insurrection': Deep Inequality and Macron's Dedication to Elites Fuel Yellow Vest Uprising in France

Paris riots continue despite fuel tax delay

According to Fox News, an official with the Elysee Palace confirmed with the Associated Press on Wednesday that Macron had abandoned the tax entirely.

"The government is ready for dialogue and is showing it because this tax increase has been dropped from the 2019 budget bill", Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers on Wednesday.

In the face of ongoing protests and rioting, the French government now says a planned fuel tax increase that President Emmanuel Macron argued was crucial to fight climate change won't happen at all in 2019.

The unrest over the squeeze on household budgets comes as OECD data showed France had become the most highly taxed country in the developed world, surpassing even traditionally high-tax-paying Scandinavian nations.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced the first major retreat of Mr. Macron's presidency when he suspended for six months a rise in fuel taxes scheduled for January 1. But instead of appeasing the protesters, it spurred other groups to join in, hoping for concessions of their own.

His administration's shift on fuel tax came after rioters ran amok in central Paris, torching cars, looting boutiques vandalizing cafes and private residences and cafes in affluent neighborhoods.

But the French penchant for refusing to take government policy lying down has far deeper roots. "We're in politics so that things work out", he said.

According to some in the Yellow Vest movement, the announcement is too little, too late. She says Macron's move on Wednesday night "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement".

Four people have been killed and hundreds injured in accidents linked to the nationwide road blockades and protests, playing havoc with traffic in the busy run-up to Christmas.

He has seen a slump in popularity ratings since he was elected n 2017.

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But the policy, along with comments deemed insensitive to the working class, has prompted numerous ex-banker's critics to label him a "president of the rich".

Students opposed to a university application system remained mobilised, trucking unions called for a rolling strike, and France's largest farm union threatened to launch protests next week.

The "Yellow Vest" protesters, so named because of the bright vests that French motorists must carry in their vehicles in case of a roadside emergency, have grown quickly from their initial beginnings on social media only weeks ago. Police used tear gas to control crowds. Demonstrators were also blocking toll booths, letting drivers pass without paying, to press demands that ranged from higher incomes and pensions to the dissolution of the National Assembly, France's parliament.

"We need taxes, but they are not properly redistributed", protester Thomas Tricottet told BFM television.

In the nearby port city of Marseille, students clashed with police outside a high school.

Demonstrations against what would have been one of Emmanuel Macron's flagship policies began on 17 November.

Christophe Chalencon said that "if not there will be chaos", with risks of more deaths.

Chalencon, a 52-year-old blacksmith from southern France, told the AP the French public needs Macron to "admit he made a mistake, with simple words. that touch the guts and heart of the French".

Mr Macron's misery was likely compounded by a tweet from US President Donald Trump, who has been vocal critic of the the Paris climate agreement his French counterpart is so committed to.

Seventy-six per cent of those interviewed said they were "dissatisfied" with Mr Macron's actions as president, with half stressing they "totally disapproved" of his actions.



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