Macron suspends fuel tax to calm French protesters

REUTERS

PARIS: The French prime minister Edouard Philippe suspended increases to fuel taxes for six months in response to weeks of fierce protests.

Prime minister Philippe announced reversal of fuel taxes and electricity price increases on Tuesday.

Tax increases on fuel will be suspended for six months, he said, while hikes in electricity and gas prices will also be frozen during the winter.

In a televised address the prime minister said that someone has “to be deaf or blind” not to hear or see the peoples anger. He added “No tax is worth jeopardising the unity of the nation.”

He also said the violence must stop. “If there is another day of protests, it must be declared in advance and must take place calmly.”

The “yellow vest” protests, named after the high-visibility jackets of motorists in France, began with squeeze on household spending brought about by Macron’s taxes.

The protests grew into a major anti-Macron uprising over the past three weeks, with many criticising the president for pursuing policies they say favour the rich and not the poor.