French government to drop fuel tax rise that sparked "Yellow Vest" protests

A protester wearing a yellow vest the symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel prices holds a flag near burning debr

A protester wearing a yellow vest the symbol of a French drivers protest against higher diesel fuel prices holds a flag near burning debr

A Macron aide denied that any eventual revision of the wealth tax would represent a major climb-down by Macron, a pro-business former investment banker, adding that the president remained committed to his reform drive.

Philippe pointed out that the tax issue shouldn't put "the nation's unity in danger", also announcing that the national debate on how to tackle climate change without burdening the wallets of French citizens will begin in mid-December.

France's largest farmers union now says it will launch protests next week, after the Government said it would delay minimum food price rises until early next year.

Pressure has been mounting on the government after protests degenerated into the worst street clashes in central Paris for decades.

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

Two groups blockading petrol depots in Brittany said they would stand down following the announcement of the measures, which will cost public coffers some two billion euros ($2.3 billion).

The "gilets jaunes" movement began as a protest against a rise in duties on diesel, which is widely used by French motorists and has always been less heavily taxed than other types of fuel.

"We're going to look for solutions together". "We want Macron and his entire government to resign".

More protests were expected this weekend in Paris.

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters". "We must maintain the sympathy and support of 85% of the French", he said. In the capital, more than 100 people were injured and more than 400 arrested.




What has the prime minister said?

Paris Saint-Germain's home Ligue 1 football match against Montpellier on Saturday has already been called off, as has an electro music festival in the city centre.

"It's a first step, but we will not settle for a crumb", said Benjamin Cauchy, a protest leader.

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.

"This violence must end", Philippe said. 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.

France's Government has abandoned a fuel-tax hike that it previously said it had only suspended for six months, in the face of protests across the country over living costs.

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.

Immediately after coming to power in 2017, Macron pushed through tax cuts for entrepreneurs and high-earners - an "original sin" for his critics.

Jacline Mouraud, a self-proclaimed spokesperson for the so-called "yellow vest" protesters, told The Associated Press that Macron's move "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement".

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