The violent protests in France have rocked the country so hard that President Macron is now officially abandoning his new global warming fuel tax designed to push people to clean energy:
AP – French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped a fuel tax rise amid fears of new violence, after weeks of nationwide protests and the worst rioting in Paris in decades.
An official with the Elysee palace told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the president decided to get rid of the tax.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers that “the tax is now abandoned” in the 2019 budget, and the government is “ready for dialogue.” The budget can be adjusted or renegotiated through the course of the year.
Three weeks of protests have left four people dead and were a massive challenge to Macron.
The protesters are said to welcome the change, but now that Macron has shown weakness they will probably keep protesting:
French protesters are welcoming President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to scrap a fuel tax rise planned for next year — but say it may not be enough to contain public anger.
Jacline Mouraud, one of the group’s self-proclaimed spokespeople, told The Associated Press “I think it comes much too late.”
She said each of the disparate protesting groups will decide what to do next, but many will probably keep protesting. She says Macron’s move on Wednesday night “is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement.”
She urged protesters to seize on the French government’s weakness to push other demands such as a rise in the minimum wage.
The anti-government protests started last month over the fuel tax but have grown to encompass a broad range of grievances and anger at Macron. More protests are planned Saturday in Paris.
From what I’ve read, these are the worst protests France has seen in decades. I suspect they’ll slow down now that Macron has dumped the fuel tax, however it sounds like some elements will continue to try and use them to get other concessions from the government. And I’m sure there are plenty of radical elements that hope to take advantage of these protests as well.
Personally, I hate these violent protests in France. But at the same time I hate government elites trying to force their global warming carbon tax ideals on the public like this – especially when we know it’s just a farce.
The whole thing is one big mess, but Macron is going to be there for a while as he took office in 2017 for a five year term.