Tuesday, December 11, 2018

French government scraps fuel tax hike

France scraps 2019 fuel tax increase for good in face of continued protests | CBC News - Associated Press:

Dec. 5, 2018 - "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 government had announced a six-month suspension of the tax just yesterday.... But 24 hours later, amid continued anger on the streets and a parliamentary debate on the 2019 budget, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe suddenly told his fellow legislators that 'the tax is now abandoned' in the 2019 budget....

"The budget can be renegotiated through the year, but given the scale of the recent protests, Macron is unlikely to revive the added fuel tax idea anytime soon.

"French protesters are welcoming Macron's decision to scrap a fuel tax rise — but say it may not be enough to contain public anger.... Three weeks of protests have left four people dead, hundreds injured and central Paris littered with burned cars and shattered windows.

"The so-called 'yellow vest' movement was mostly peaceful to begin with. People angry about the planned tax increase donned the yellow emergency vests all French drivers must have in their cars in case of a breakdown and took to the streets in mid-November.

"The past two weekends, though, saw outpourings of violence and rioting in Paris, with extreme far-right and far-left factions joining the demonstrations. It was the worst anti-government rioting since 1968. At least four people died, and police feared more violence would come this Saturday in the French capital."

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

"Trade unions have not so far played a role in the yellow vest protest movement but are now trying to capitalize on the growing public anger."

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/macron-yellow-vests-protests-tax-1.4933806
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