Christopher Everard LIV.E. FROM PARIS.
. New french REVOLUTION France’s gilets jaunes (yellow vests) have vowed to continue their high-profile protest campaign after forcing the French government into a U-turn on a controversial rise in fuel tax.
The movement behind three weeks of increasingly violent protests across the country declared it wanted more concessions from France’s leaders and would not accept “crumbs”.
The Guardian view on the gilets jaunes: Macron needs to regain his popular touch
Although the protests were sparked by the planned rise in fuel taxes next month, the gilets jaunes movement has grown to encompass wider anger and frustration against the political elite in Paris in general and the president, Emmanuel Macron, and his government in particular.
On Tuesday, the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, bowed to pressure from the street and announced the increases were being suspended for six months. He also announced an immediate freeze on gas and electricity prices, but warned further violence would not be tolerated.
Philippe’s announcement came after he met cabinet ministers on Tuesday morning to agree a response to a weekend of rioting, looting and destruction in Paris by an element of the gilets jaunes movement.
Who are the gilets jaunes and what do they want?
Macron had repeatedly vowed not to give in to the unrest, but has been forced to reconsider after some of the worst street violence in Paris in half a century.
“Thousands of French have expressed their anger,” Philippe said in a televised statement. “This anger goes back a long way and has often remained silent. Today it’s being expressed with force and in a collective way.
“One would have to be deaf and blind not to see or hear this. I hear this anger and I have understood its basis, its force and its seriousness. It is the anger of the French who work and work hard, but still have difficulty making ends meet, who find their backs against the wall. They have a sense of profound injustice at not being able to live a dignified life when they are working.
“If events of the last days have shown anything, it is that the French do not want any more taxes or charges. No tax merits putting in danger national unity.”
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