Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

07 December, 2018, 15:46 | Author: Trevor Moore
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The protests began in mid-November over an nearly banal grievance: Macron's decision to raise the tax on fuel in order to finance renewable-energy proposals.

Addressing the Lower House of parliament, Edouard Philippe said the tax increase has been dropped from the 20-19 budget bill.

"France's largest farmers' union said it will launch anti-government protests next week after trucking unions called for a rolling strike", reports the outlet.

Yet many others said they had no intention of stopping the demonstrations.

"Too many people are trying to be in charge at PSG and Emery was left alone". But instead of appeasing the protesters, it spurred other groups to join in, hoping for concessions of their own.

Nationwide, 89,000 security force members will be deployed - 8,000 of them in Paris.

Macron, who had never held elected office before becoming president, tried to respond to popular anger about the political class by bringing scores of newcomers into government.

"What we are asking of you Mr Prime Minister, is not a postponement".

Adding fuel to the fire is the perceived extravagance of Macron and his wife Brigitte, with many protesters citing a set of porcelain tableware he ordered - reportedly worth half a million euros - days after complaining about the "crazy amounts of dough" spent on social security.

Restoring the wealth tax has become one of the core demands of the "yellow vests", alongside the fuel tax rollback and an increase in the minimum wage. Amid his domestic woes, Macron also saw his "friend" US President Donald Trump weigh in on Twitter, saying protesters were disavowing Macron's adherence to the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Four people have died in accidents linked to the protests since they began on November 17, and hundreds have been injured.

The sweep of the protests and their wide support by citizens of all political stripes has shocked Macron's government.

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A protester wearing a yellow vest, the symbol of a French drivers" protest against higher diesel prices, poses with a sticker reading "Macron resign' as he and comrades occupy a roundabout in Gaillon, France, Thursday.

The presidency, meanwhile, warned of possible violence during a new round of protests planned for Saturday in Paris and elsewhere in the country. After winning election overwhelmingly last year, the 40-year-old pro-business centrist has sought to make France more competitive globally.

Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) protesters block the road leading to the Frontignan oil depot in the south of France on December 3, 2018.

The "yellow vest" movement was named after the safety jackets French motorists are required to keep in their vehicles, which the protesters wear at demonstrations. The protesters "are defending a cause, they're following through and rightly so".

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer urged people to stay at home during the coming weekend.

Protesters occupy a roundabout in Gaillon, France, Thursday. BFM said he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet but authorities did not confirm that. Julien Guiller, a spokesman for the regional school administration, told the AP that the student was expected to survive.

An increase scheduled for January 1, was "scrapped for the year 2019" in its entirety, Environment Minister Francois de Rugy announced on BFM TV, in an about-turn for the government.

He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests and has largely remained in his palace residence.

On the street, that means that 79 police units will be deployed in Paris, compared to the 50 sent out last weekend.

"We're the ones who are going to eventually have to pay higher fuel prices", said Ines, one of around 150 high school students demonstrating in the southern Paris suburb of Cachan.

"If not there will be chaos", said Christophe Chalencon.

President Emmanuel Macron must pursue tax-friendly policies towards foreign investors if he wants French startups to flourish, visiting Silicon Valley investors told Reuters on Thursday.


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