Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

The prime minister also spoke of the protesters.

Protesters wearing the fluorescent yellow vests continued to block several fuel depots.

Fuel taxes had been set to rise on January 1.

The six month-suspension announcement did nothing to quell the anger.

He also said that planned increases in gas and electricity prices this winter would be halted, and that a toughening of the rules for vehicle emissions tests would also be postponed.

Experts say the government may have reacted too late to the street protests, a regular feature of French political life which have repeatedly forced Macron's predecessors into U-turns. 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.

Since then, the "yellow vest" protests have developed into a movement against Macron.

Turnout for the protests had fallen from about 280,000 three weeks ago to 136,000 last Saturday, with some of the violence, auto burning, spray painting and damage to Paris' historic monuments alienating supporters.

Around 400 people were arrested after a violent minority turned on police, throwing projectiles and vandalizing statues.

French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron

The concessions, coming after an earlier 500-million-euro relief package for poorer households, mark the first time 40-year-old Macron has given ground in the face of public opposition.

But his office said he told ministers he would stick to his decision to cut a "fortune tax" on high-earners - a move which has infuriated many protesters.

The yellow vest protesters have called him "president of the rich".

She said each of the disparate protesting groups will decide what to do next, but many will probably keep protesting. The demonstrations took place as France joins other countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland.

In response to the riots, President Trump blasted the Paris Climate agreement, which he pulled the United States out of, for punishing taxpayers. On Tuesday night, the young leader was booed and jeered as he traveled to a regional government headquarters that was torched by protesters last weekend. "If at the end of these discussions no good solutions have been found, we will accept the consequences" Mr Griveaux said.

Macron had made cutting wealth taxes a key campaign pledge ahead of his election in May 2017, arguing that such levies discouraged investment and drove entrepreneurs to leave France.

Just three weeks ago, Philippe had insisted the government would be steadfast in the tax plans aimed at weaning French consumers off fossil fuels.

Some officials, however, hope that the lack of clear leadership will lead the movement to break apart.

Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe chose to suspend planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests, marking the first major U-turn by Macron's administration in 18 months in office. George Grow was the editor. "We want Macron and his entire government to resign". Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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