Paris riots show difficulty of fighting warming with taxes

Paris riots show difficulty of fighting warming with taxes

A source close to the president's office said France had thought about postponing the session in light of the protests but made a decision to press ahead.

"He's the king. It's as if we're in the Middle Ages!" fumed Philippe, the 74-year-old leader of a group of "yellow vests" that has been periodically holding up traffic in the central Sarthe region.

An increase scheduled for January 1, was "scrapped for the year 2019" in its entirety, Environment Minister Francois de Rugy announced on BFM TV, in an about-turn for the government.

President Emanuel Macron announced the tax increases last month. But taxes on fossil fuels are just what global climate negotiators, meeting in Poland this week, say are desperately needed to help wean the world off of fossil fuels and slow climate change.

Around 200 French high schools were blocked or disrupted Thursday by students protesting a raft of education overhauls, on a fourth day of action called to coincide with anti-government demonstrations which have rocked the country in recent weeks.

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

Protests continued Wednesday, with petrol depots, service stations, and shopping centres among the targets of the "yellow vests" or "gilets jaunes" - so named for the high-visibility road safety jackets they wear.

The yellow vests protests have moved beyond the initial anger over fuel taxes.

More than 140 people were arrested when a protest outside a school in Mantes-la-Jolie in Yvelines ended in clashes with police. Police used tear gas to control crowds.

"When you leave things to fester too long, it costs more", Jean-Francois Amadieu, a sociologist at Paris 1 university, told AFP.

France Protests
A worker cleaning graffiti reading Macron Resign on the Arc de Triomphe

One of the main measures implemented by the French government to boost business and investment after Macron's election previous year was to set a flat tax of 30 percent on all capital income and remove the top marginal band of payroll tax.

The French government quietly fears a Trump-led backlash against the accord could spread to other major economies whose commitment is essential to keeping the deal together. "So far, we haven't seen an unexpected dip in tourism, people are still booking".

The protesters, mainly from small-town and rural France, have broad public support, with an opinion poll this week showing 72 percent backed the demonstrations despite last weekend's violence.

She said each of the disparate protesting groups will decide what to do next, but many will probably keep demonstrating. The demonstrations took place as France joins other countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland.

The French government caved in after the worst riots in decades and delayed an increase in energy taxes.

Macron has said he will "never accept violence".

Marine Le Pen, Macron's right-wing 2017 presidential election rival, urged Macron on Wednesday to meet with the protesters before Saturday. Reflecting social unrest around the world, they protested authority, capitalism, consumerism, poverty and just about everything else.

A protester wearing a yellow vest, the symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel prices, holds a flag near burning debris at the approach to the A2 Paris-Brussels Motorway, in Fontaine-Notre-Dame, France, December 4, 2018.

Mario Ritter adapted stories from VOA News and Reuters for this VOA Learning English report.

"Trump also retweeted a false claim from American conservative student activist Charlie Kirk that said: "'We want Trump' being chanted through the streets of Paris". Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

Related Articles

  • Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Burnley: Origi starts in much-changed Reds side

    Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Burnley: Origi starts in much-changed Reds side

    In the second half, the one-two with Mo [Salah] was a good finish and a bit lucky in that moment for Burnley . Liverpool settled towards the end of the first half and ended on the front foot.
    Manchester United vs. Arsenal - Football Match Report

    Manchester United vs. Arsenal - Football Match Report

    Emery said: "The 18 can be for Saturday and also we are doing one plan with him, maybe he can play against Qarabag". That's the view of Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.
    Delhi Daredevils renamed Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2019

    Delhi Daredevils renamed Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2019

    Delhi Capitals', formerly known as Delhi Daredevils , skipper Shreyas Iyer had a message to greet the fans initially. In the USA , there is an ice hockey team called Washington Capitals, which plays in the National Hockey League.
  • Sask. not following Alberta in cutting oil production

    Sask. not following Alberta in cutting oil production

    Western Canada Select crude's discount to US benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil narrowed on Monday to the tightest since July. The crisis has caused some producers to reduce production on their own, slash dividends and delay next year's drilling plans.
    Luxembourg set to become first country to provide free public transport

    Luxembourg set to become first country to provide free public transport

    Though small, Luxembourg's capital city is marred by a bad case of traffic congestion as 400,000 people work within the city. No decision has yet been taken on what to do about first- and second-class compartments on trains.
    Sandra Oh, Andy Samberg to co-host Globes

    Sandra Oh, Andy Samberg to co-host Globes

    He was the 2015 Emmy Awards host, while Oh is a newcomer to handling emcee duties for a major ceremony. It was still nominated for best screenplay, best director and best foreign language film .
  • Dad's lesson on bullying goes viral

    Dad's lesson on bullying goes viral

    A dad in OH who took a unique approach in addressing his daughter's bad behavior at school is receiving both praise and criticism. Millions of people have viewed it and hundreds of thousands more have left a comment.
    Canadian businesses face retaliatory risk after Huawei arrest in Vancouver

    Canadian businesses face retaliatory risk after Huawei arrest in Vancouver

    Press representatives for the Justice Department and the USA attorney's office in the Eastern District of NY declined to comment. US national Security officials were aware of the arrest prior to the news breaking Wednesday evening, a different source said.
    David Attenborough: 'The collapse of our civilizations is on the horizon'

    David Attenborough: 'The collapse of our civilizations is on the horizon'

    It was dwarfed by marches in Brussels, Berlin and Cologne over the weekend calling for greater action to curb climate change. The 24th Conference of Parties - or COP24 - is a pivotal moment in the global effort to combat climate change.
  • Nauert to Become Next UN Ambassador

    Nauert to Become Next UN Ambassador

    She oversaw public diplomacy in Washington and all of the roughly 275 overseas U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts. Because of her inexperience in diplomacy and short political resume, Nauert may face difficulty securing the job.
    Chris Wallace: 'Chill' Hit Funeral First Row When Trumps Arrived

    Chris Wallace: 'Chill' Hit Funeral First Row When Trumps Arrived

    And the Trumps visited members of the Bush family at the Blair House presidential guesthouse, where they are staying. Bush addresses Congress in 1989.To people who take our history unsanitized, please, the slobbering over George H.W.
    ‘Fortnite’ Is Introducing A Third Gameplay Mode, Creative

    ‘Fortnite’ Is Introducing A Third Gameplay Mode, Creative

    Epic Games has had a tough stance on Google especially when it comes to the fees involved in the Google Play Store. It's quite the difference when compared to the likes of Steam, which takes a 30% cut in revenue from game sales.