French Police Union Calls on Police to Join Yellow Vests' Protests

06 December, 2018, 17:52 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • France's President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a meeting with the French Community at the Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires

On Tuesday, his centrist government caved in and surrendered to the rioters, announcing a six-month suspension of the fuel tax increase - but not a scuttling of it - in response to the violent protests, which are now in their third week.

Just 24 hours later, amid continued anger on the streets, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told his fellow lawmakers that "the tax is now abandoned" in the 2019 budget and that the government is "ready for dialogue".

On Tuesday, the French prime minister Edouard Philippe chose to suspend planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests by the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement, marking the first major U-turn by Macron's administration in 18 months in office.

Restoring the wealth tax has become one of the core demands of the "yellow vests", alongside the fuel tax rollback and an increase in the minimum wage.

Three weeks of protests have left four people dead, hundreds injured and central Paris littered with burned cars and shattered windows.

Fuel tax rises which sparked weeks of violent protests in France have now been dropped from next year's budget, the government has announced.

The sweep of the protests and their wide support by citizens of all political stripes has shocked Macron's government.

French left-wing opposition parties are seeking a no-confidence vote in President Emmanuel Macron's government amid growing protests and fears of violence.

They were supposed to be approved at a cabinet meeting Wednesday and come into effect on 1 January.

Macron, 40, made the issue one of his key campaign pledges ahead of his election in May 2017, arguing that punitive taxes on the wealthy discouraged job creation and led many entrepreneurs to leave France.

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"We're going to have a security company with security guards inside and outside the shop", Rozey said.

The main farmers' union said Wednesday that its members would hold demonstrations every day next week.

The FNSEA farmers union said it would fight to help French farmers earn a better income but would not officially be joining forces with the "yellow vests" - protesters wearing the high-visibility vests that motorists are required to keep in their cars.

Protest and street violence has been a central part of France's political culture - from the Revolution in the late 1700s to the student riots in 1968 - and the yellow vest movement reflects this tradition.

Eric Drouet, another spokesman in the movement, said before the announcement from President Macron, "A tax freeze does not change the living conditions in the immediate future".

Students opposed to a university application system remained mobilized, trucking unions called for a rolling strike and France's largest farm union threatened to launch protests next week. Other police unions are not talking about strikes - but everyone's anxious about security risks in the face of a movement with no clear leaders whose protests are easily hijacked by troublemakers of all stripes.

Chalencon, a 52-year-old blacksmith, said the public needed Macron to "admit he made a mistake, with simple words. that touch the guts and heart of the French".

Macron has said he will "never accept violence".

Mr Macron's misery was likely compounded by a tweet from US President Donald Trump, who has been vocal critic of the the Paris climate agreement his French counterpart is so committed to.

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