Friday, 14 December, 2018

French government to review tax on high-earners

Demonstrators built barricades in the middle of streets in central Paris THIBAULT CAMUS APDemonstrators built barricades in the middle of streets in central Paris
Laurie Berry | 06 December, 2018, 00:30

Philippe told lawmakers that "the tax is now abandoned" in the 2019 budget, and the government is "ready for dialogue". She urged protesters to seize on the French government's weakness to push other demands such as a rise in the minimum wage.

The protests began last month with motorists upset over the fuel tax hike, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints, with protesters claiming that Macron's government doesn't care about the problems of ordinary people.

Whether or not the cancellation of the fuel tax will end the protests is unclear as members of the movement have already called for a "fourth act" to take place on Saturday. More protests are planned for Saturday in Paris.

The concessions made by France's prime minister in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations that have been rocking France over the past three weeks, seem to have so far failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and farmers now threatening to join the fray.

A joint statement from two major trucking unions called for action beginning on Sunday night to protest against a cut in overtime rates, and asked for an urgent meeting with the Transportation Minister. France's transportation minister agreed to meet with truckers' representatives on Thursday.

Meanwhile, police used water cannons, stun grenades, and hundreds of canisters of tear gas against the demonstrators, as well as arresting about 400 people.

Many are also anxious after Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume said Wednesday that measures aimed at improving their negotiating power with distributors would be delayed as the government grapples with the "yellow vest" movement.

Macron's popularity has slumped to a new low since the first demonstrations took place on November 17.

Protesters angry about rising taxes clashed with French police for a third straight weekend
THIBAULT CAMUS APProtesters angry about rising taxes clashed with French police for a third straight weekend

Economists frequently note that fuel taxes or carbon taxes are more elegant solutions than fuel-economy mandates to promote better fuel efficiency and cleaner air. Julien Guiller, a spokesman for the regional school administration, told The Associated Press the student was expected to survive.

After it was clear that Macron had been defeated by the strong-arming of the violent protests, Trump tweeted that he was pleased with the outcome.

Since returning from the G20 summit in Argentina, Macron has either remained in his palace residence or else shied away from speaking publicly about the protests that have created his biggest political crisis since taking office last May.

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

Four people have died since the unrest began and the resulting violence and vandalism have been widely condemned.

The backpedaling by President Emmanuel Macron's government appeared created to calm the nation three days after the worst unrest on the streets of Paris in decades.

"If not there will be chaos", said Christophe Chalencon, a 52-year-old blacksmith from southern France.

COP24: Tens of thousands of climate change protesters march in Brussels
At the COP24 climate talks, nations must agree to a rulebook palatable to all 183 states who have ratified the Paris deal. Brazil's strongman president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, for one, has promised to follow the American lead during his campaign.

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