Following the worst anti-government riots in Paris since 2005, French President Emmanuel Macron has now canceled the fuel tax hike entirely. As of yesterday, the plan was to delay it for six months, but that has now been shelved completely in fear that more protests were coming.
According to Fox News, an official with the Elysee Palace confirmed with the Associated Press on Wednesday that Macron had abandoned the tax entirely. France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed to lawmakers that the tax will not be included in the 2019 budget.
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.”
Mouraud told protesters to seize on Macron’s weakness and demand other perks, such as a minimum wage hike. More protests are expected to come on Saturday, reports Fox News.
“France’s largest farmers’ union said it will launch anti-government protests next week after trucking unions called for a rolling strike,” reports the outlet. “A joint statement from the CGT and the FO trucking unions called for action Sunday night to protest a cut in overtime rates. France’s transportation minister agreed to meet with truckers’ representatives on Thursday.”
The proposed fuel tax was implemented to combat global climate change; protesters, especially those in the suburbs, said it imposed too high a burden and was unaffordable. Some 136,000 people protested in Paris over the weekend. At Tolbiac University, students took over a school building and classes were canceled.
“We need taxes, but they are not properly redistributed,” protester Thomas Tricottet told BFM television. “We obviously need to fight against this.”
As noted by the Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti, much of the media ignored the fact that the fuel tax was implemented to combat climate change:
Riots in France are raging into their fourth week, but American mainstream media outlets like CBS and CNN are having a tough time reporting on exactly why tens of thousands of French citizens are taking to the streets — perhaps because the protests are motivated by French President Emmanuel Macron’s burdensome “anti-Climate Change” policies.
To be sure, Macron’s recent efforts to combat “climate change” and reduce France’s dependence on “fossil fuels” by levying a new tax on gasoline and other household fuels is not the only reason the French are protesting, but fuel tax is the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” French citizens were already hit with a tax increase in January, and more than 60% of the cost of fuel in France comes from government fees.
But if you ask CNN or CBS, the French riots are simply shrouded in mystery.
In response to the riots, President Trump blasted the Paris Climate agreement, which he pulled the United States out of, for punishing taxpayers.
“The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “In the world. I want clean air and clean water and have been making great strides in improving America’s environment. But American taxpayers – and American workers – shouldn’t pay to clean up others countries’ pollution.”