France Expected to Suspend Fuel-Tax Hike that Led to Violent 'Yellow Jacket' Protests
After more than two weeks of protests that have led to blocked roads, torched cars, looting and chaos in some of Paris' wealthiest neighborhoods, France's prime minister was expected Tuesday to suspend a fuel-tax hike that triggered the demonstrations, reported USA Today.
Edouard Philippe will temporarily call off plans to increase a diesel tax, French media reported. The move is aimed at easing tensions after more than 100 people were injured and 400 arrested in Paris over the weekend amid "Yellow Jacket" protests.
French demonstrators have been wearing the yellow vests, a symbol of motorists' discontent with the government's tax policy. But the "Yellow Jacket" movement has expanded far beyond fuel to include demands that French President Emmanuel Macron alter his approach to housing, health, education and the public purse.
Since winning France's presidency last year, Macron has won praise for seeking to reform France's labor laws but he has faced opposition from protesters who feel that the changes favor the wealthy. He recently slashed a longstanding wealth tax.
Philippe is expected to announce the suspension of the fuel-tax hike later Tuesday along with other measures intended to placate protesters, according to Le Monde, Le Figaro and other French publications. "Yellow Jacket" supporters claim Macron's government does not care about ordinary people or France's growing social inequalities.
"It’s a first step, but we will not settle for a crumb," said Benjamin Cauchy, one of the leaders of the protests, according to comments carried by the Associated Press.
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