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December 04, 2018

Macron Suspends Gas Tax Hikes for Six Months and Suspends Electricity and Oil Tax Hikes Through the Winter, but the YellowJackets are Not Appeased

They're just hoping this is enough to quiet people down, so they can hike the taxes without protest in the spring.

Fuel tax rises which have led to weeks of violent protests in France have now been postponed for six months.

The move was announced in a televised address by PM Edouard Philippe, who said anyone would have "to be deaf or blind" not to hear or see the anger.

From LeFigaro.fr:

"No tax is worth endangering the unity of the nation."

Almost three weeks after the first day of national mobilization of the "Yellow Jackets," and three days after the serious violence in Paris and the country, the Premier Minister announced the new measures Tuesday, via television, in an "attempt to mollify" and to return to "social peace." "If the events of the last days have shown us anything, it is that the French do not want increases in tariffs or new taxes," stated the head of government, hoping to "(hold to) the ambition" of the pivot to environmentalism...

To reduce the anger of the "Yellow Jackets," the Prime Minister had also issued a mea culpa in the name of the [ruling] majority. "The French who put on a yellow jacket lover their country. They want taxes lowered and their work to pay. This is also what we want. It is the heart of the mission of the president of the Republic. If I have not adequately expressed it, if the majority had had trouble convincing the French, then let me say, we must do change something," Edouard Phillpe said.

But many of the Yellow Jackets are unconvinced.

After the annoucement of Edouard Phillipe, the "spokesmen" of the movement didn't hide their dissatisfaction. "This [suspension of the tax] plays the French for fools and puts the tax in place in six months," said Benjamin Cauchy, member of the group "Free Yellow Jackets." This moratorium on the raising of the tax on gas, announced this morning, has already been criticized by several politicians, who judge it insufficient. "This is obviously does not meet our expectations or concerns," said Marine Le Pen.

Another protester was encouraged for the moment, but promised further demonstrations if the government attempts to re-levy the tax. Protesters lifted their blockage of the petroleum depot at Brest (they've been blocking such installations to starve the country of gas, judging the moratorium "satisfactory, but added, "We're going away" but said the government must "know well that if we don't get what we want, we're coming back. They know what we're capable of."

More: I missed this -- some protesters declare they're coming to Paris again this weekend, to continue to the protests.

There will be an Act IV. [The paper has taken to calling the last three weeks of protests Acts 1-3.] Already some "Yellow Jackets" announced that they will come to Paris. Some will even come to protest for the first time. The measures announced by Edouard Phillipe do not meet their demands.


At Lorient as well, Andre Bourlard, another figure in the movement, spoke of a "half-time" being called. "These [temporary suspensions in the taxes] are not enough," he said.

By the way, Macron visited Serbia for some reason. A member of the Serbian parliament also donned a yellow jacket himself to protest gas prices.

"We want normal prices for gas, or you will have Yellow Jackets in the streets of Belgrade and of Serbia," predicted Bosko Obradovic, head of the rightwing nationalist [party] Dveri.

He wanted to know why Macron had negotiated with the Yellow Jackets over the gas tax, even though they'd "set fire to half of Paris," but the Serbian president refused to negotiate with Serbs asking peaceably for a cancellation of the tax.

Note: It's really "Yellow Vest" but I can't seem to stop writing "Yellow Jacket."

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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:20 PM

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