Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

France protests: Fuel tax rises in 2019 budget dropped

France protests: Fuel tax rises in 2019 budget dropped

The French government plans to announce Tuesday the suspension of fuel tax increases slated for January in a bid to quell the fierce protests which have ballooned into the deepest crisis of Emmanuel Macron's presidency, sources said.

"The government is ready for dialogue and is showing it because this tax increase has been dropped from the 2019 budget bill", Edouard Philippe, the French prime minister, said on December 5.

The so-called "yellow vest" protesters have still vowed to stage demonstrations alongside trade unions and farmers.Jacline Mouraud, the self-proclaimed spokesperson for the "yellow vests", told The Associated Press that Macron's move "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement".

Yellow Vest protests, named after high-visibility jackets all drivers in France must carry in their vehicles, are entering their third week.

The French government is hoping to stave off another day of running riots and burning cars like on Saturday, when more than 400 people were arrested in the capital.

In all, four people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes or accidents stemming from the protests.

Macron has left Philippe to make the public statements concerning the protests.

A demonstrator holds a French flag during a protest of Yellow vests.

During this two years in charge, PSG won one Ligue 1 title, as well as the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue in both seasons.

Paris police and store owners are bracing for new violence at protests Saturday, despite President Emmanuel Macron's surrender over a fuel tax hike that unleashed weeks of unrest.

"The moment that we are living through is not about political opposition, it's about the republic", Griveaux said after a cabinet meeting.

"Eventually he backed down, which is going to divide the (yellow vest) movement, but it also risks dividing his own political base", said Jerome Sainte-Marie of the PollingVox survey group.

France has suspended planned increases in fuel taxes for six months after violent protests in the streets of Paris and other cities.

Macron had made cutting wealth taxes a key campaign pledge ahead of his election in May 2017, arguing such levies discourage investment and drive entrepreneurs away.

The "gilets jaunes" (yellow vest) protests have hit major cities over the past three weekends.

At Tolbiac University in downtown Paris, students took over a school building and classes were canceled.

"This decision should have been taken from the start, as soon as the conflict emerged", said prominent Socialist figure Segolene Royal, a former candidate for president, adding: "The more you let a conflict fester, the more you eventually have to concede". However, reports say he has urged Philippe to ease tensions and meet with protest groups.

Chalencon, a 52-year-old blacksmith, said the public needed Macron to "admit he made a mistake, with simple words. that touch the guts and heart of the French".

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.

In a disparaging tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that Macron's decision Tuesday to delay the gas tax hike showed that the French leader doesn't believe in the 2015 Paris global climate accord.

Like this: