French govt retreats on fuel tax hikes
protesters said his reforms are for the rich and he doesn’t understand the needs of poor people.
Wang said it is common for economic reforms to meet with resistance from ordinary people. Macron’s decision to compromise will probably encourage more protesters to take a harder stance and try to push the government into further U-turns.
The protests against the government began on Nov 17 with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike. The violence over the weekend in Paris, in which more than 130 people were injured and over 400 were arrested, was the worst in the country in decades. Four people were killed in accidents linked to the demonstrations and road blockades.
For weeks, Macron held his ground on the fuel taxes, which are meant to finance anti-pollution policies but critics say unfairly weigh on drivers in rural and small-town France.
Planned tax increases on petrol and diesel on Jan 1 will be suspended for six months, while hikes in regulated electricity and gas prices will be frozen during the winter.
AFP contributed to this story.