Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots

Many "yellow vest" protesters, named after the high-visibility road safety jackets they wear, have called online for new protests this Saturday.

The resistance to the fuel tax is a personal blow to Macron, who sees himself as the guarantor of the 2015 Paris climate accord, its strongest defender on the global stage.

By caving in to French protesters' demands to halt the new fuel tax, Macron has lost some credibility in his fight against climate change.

France will close the Eiffel Tower and other tourism landmarks in Paris and draft in thousands more security forces on Saturday to stave off another wave of violent protests in the country over living costs.

The ISF was replaced with a less onerous tax on property holdings with a combined valued of more than €1.3m - though it excluded investments in property shares.

Around a dozen museums across the capital have also said they will remain closed on Saturday after vandalism and clashes between protesters and police last week rocked France.

Macron, for his part, visited a regional government headquarters that was torched by protesters, but he did not speak to reporters.

"I have no problem with admitting that on such or such question we could have done differently, that if there is such a level of anger.it's because we still have a lot of things to improve", the prime minister told legislators.

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

The protests began November 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints - the stagnant economy, social injustice and France' tax system, one of the highest in Europe - and some now call for the government to resign.

U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to mock Macron over the policy shift, which could make it harder for France to meet its Carbon dioxide emissions reduction target, a core element of the Paris climate agreement of 2015.

Burned cars litter the streets of Paris following Saturday's unrest
Image Burned cars litter the streets of Paris following Saturday's unrest

The sweep of the protests and their wide support by citizens of all political stripes has shocked Macron's government.

Despite capitulating this week over plans for fuel taxes that inspired the nationwide revolt, President Emmanuel Macron has struggled to quell the anger that led to the worst street unrest in central Paris since 1968. More protests are expected to come on Saturday, reports Fox News.

France's main farmers' union said on Wednesday that its members would stage demonstrations every day next week.

"We can not take the risk when we know the threat", Culture Minister Franck Riester told RTL radio, adding that far-right and far-left agitators were planning to hijack the rallies by "yellow vest" protesters.

Student unions called a day of action on Thursday after three days of lower level protests.

Macron's office said he would not speak publicly about the violence "for the time being", though he met briefly with a protester at his office Tuesday. At Tolbiac University, students took over a school building and classes were canceled. BFM said he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet but authorities did not confirm that.

The rising cost of gasoline and diesel fuel sparked protests that have since evolved into broader demonstrations against Macron's government, exposing tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor.

The French government says it fears "major violence" in Paris on Saturday as the national "yellow vests" protest movement shows little sign of easing.

"If not there will be chaos", said Christophe Chalencon. "The guy thinks he's God!" said Claudio, a 47-year-old mason and father of four, standing next to a stack of burning pallets outside the depot in Le Mans.

The president's approval rating fell to 23 percent in a poll conducted late last week, down six points from the previous month, while the prime minister's rating fell 10 points to 26 percent.

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