France dangles wealth tax review as 'yellow vest' anger persists

Oscar PerryDec 06, 2018

Because they want to be led by Trump, according to a theory retweeted by the U.S. president himself on Tuesday.

Mr Philippe said on Tuesday that the next planned rise in the so-called carbon tax on vehicle fuel, which had been due to come in on 1 January, would be suspended for six months to allow consultations.

"No tax is worth putting the nation's unity in danger", Philippe said in a live televised address.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that among the protesters were people from across the country who had descended upon Paris with the express intent of causing trouble.

The protests and u-turn of the tax have shown Mr Macron has struggled to achieve most of what he promised, according to Politico.

Farmers union FNSEA said it would fight to help farmers earn a better income, though it said it would not officially be joining forces with the "yellow vests", as the protesters have come to be called after the high-visibility vests French motorists are required to keep in their cars, and which they don for demonstrations.

The proposal to increase a fuel tax has been heavily protested by the "Yellow Vest" movement for the last three weeks.

When those consumers feel the pain, they take to the streets-more reliably in response to higher fuel or food prices than perhaps any other influence.

Mr Macron's misery was likely compounded by a tweet from US President Donald Trump, who has been vocal critic of the the Paris climate agreement his French counterpart is so committed to. In the capital, more than 100 people were injured and more than 400 arrested.

Paris riots continue despite fuel tax delay
Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters", said Trump, referring to a global deal on the environment drafted in Paris in late 2015.

"It's a first step, but we will not settle for a crumb", Benjamin Chaucy, one of the leaders of the protest, told Al Jazeera.

"Trump also retweeted a false claim from American conservative student activist Charlie Kirk that said: "'We want Trump' being chanted through the streets of Paris".

A new poll by the Ifop-Fiducial survey group on Tuesday showed the former investment banker's approval rating at a record low of 23 percent.

"This violence must end", Philippe said.

He also visited local government offices in the central town of Puy-en-Velay, which were torched during a protest last weekend - and was booed upon leaving.

Although the protests were sparked by the planned rise in fuel taxes next month, the movement has grown to encompass wider anger and frustration against the political elite in Paris in general and Macron and his government in particular.

In addition to their dissatisfaction with the government's offer regarding the price hikes, the yellow vest protesters have widened the scope of their demonstrations and demands in recent days.

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