France delays fuel tax hikes that prompted protests to 2020

Paris riots continue despite fuel tax delay

The French government plans to announce Tuesday the suspension of fuel tax increases slated for January in a bid to quell the fierce protests which have ballooned into the deepest crisis of Emmanuel Macron's presidency, sources said.

The French government could change its position regarding a controversial wealth tax, a government spokesman has said, as protests mount over President Macron's policies.

The protesters, known as the "gilets jaunes", take their name from the high-visibility yellow vests that drivers are required to keep in their vehicles for safety reasons.

Following the worst anti-government riots in Paris since 2005, French President Emmanuel Macron has now canceled the fuel tax hike entirely.

President Emanuel Macron announced the tax increases last month.

Four people have been killed and hundreds injured in accidents linked to the nationwide road blockades and protests, which are playing havoc with traffic in the busy run-up to Christmas.

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.

On Tuesday, representatives of the Yellow Vest movement said the temporary freeze on the tax proposed by the French prime minister was simply not enough.

Macron has left Philippe to make the public statements concerning the protests.

Polling showed that 70 percent of French residents opposed the measure, even after they elected Macron in a landslide previous year.

Minister Francois de Rugy told BFM TV that the government had made a decision to ditch the plans in their entirety in order to assuage fears that the increase would be be reintroduced as soon as the protests came to an end.

According to French journalist Agnès C. Poirier, both far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing group France Unbowed, have tried to link themselves to the Yellow Vest movement-but their attempts have been rebuffed.

He said the wealth tax could be reassessed in 2019.

"The moment that we are living through is not about political opposition, it's about the republic", Griveaux said after a cabinet meeting.

Numerous demonstrations were over a new university application system.

It may not sound like much, but the proposal filled the streets with protesters in yellow jackets for three weeks.

Nine government ministers were sent out to the television and radio studios Wednesday to explain the administration's stance. Violent rampaging last Saturday devastated the French capital.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has urged "responsible" protesters not to descend on Paris but has nonetheless called in police reinforcements, bracing for more violence.

And the idea that the French demonstrators were chanting "We Want Trump" just appears to have been made up.

He said that the French who have worn yellow vests "want taxes to drop, and work to pay".

Students opposed to a university application system remained mobilised, trucking unions called for a rolling strike, and France's largest farm union threatened to launch protests next week.

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