French govt re­treats on fuel tax hikes

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD -

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.

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