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Macron backs down on climate change fuel tax

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a six-month suspension of the government's proposed "climate change" fuel tax, backing down in the face of angry Yellow Vest protests throughout France for more than three weeks.

Published: December 5, 2018, 7:57 am

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    As part of the globalist EU’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions, Macron had been punishing the owners of diesel vehicles in particular, badly hitting the pockets of those struggling in rural France who need to drive, since there is no public transport available for them.

    But the suspension may be too little, too late.

    “We didn’t want a suspension, we want the past increase in the tax on fuels to be canceled immediately,” Yellow Vest organiser Benjamin Cauchy told BFM TV. “Suspending the tax to re-instate it in six months is taking the French people for a ride. French people aren’t sparrows waiting for crumbs from the government.”

    Laetitia Dewalle, a Yellow Vests spokeswoman, also told BFM TV: “Macron has still not deigned to talk to the people. We feel his disdain. He maintains his international engagements but doesn’t speak to the people.”

    Sebastien Chenu, a spokesman for Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, told LCI that “the French won’t be fooled. The government has understood nothing, it’s just playing for time.”

    Le Pen mocked the suspension announced by the government on Twitter, noting that the timing was suspect: “Six months? Six months…Surely a coincidence if it brings us just to a few days after the European elections, 2019.”

    Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told francebleu.fr: “Today is more than a parliamentary crisis as we saw at the time of the Benalla affair, it is an important and primordial moment during a five-year period,” said Philippe. “We must appease the situation to prevent it from escalating,” he said.

    He said it must be accompanied by other measures of appeasement, but French police have meanwhile ordered the cancellation of two football matches scheduled for Saturday.

    Interior minister Christophe Castaner told parliament on Tuesday that additional security personnel would reinforce the 65 000 police and gendarmes already deployed for this coming Saturday’s planned protests.

    The army could be called in as backup if protests continue in Paris, according to Paris-based journalist Catherine Field, as Macron’s eco-signalling government policies and the impact they have on ordinary people, have intensified the grassroots moment.

    According to L’Express, the units of the CRS, the civic police were ordered to fire tear-gas launchers at people’s height last Saturday in Paris. It is a prohibited practice. “This is the first time I received such an order” a CRS officer told the French weekly.

    Reuters reported that Macron was backing down because his already sagging popularity has hit a new low. On Tuesday, a poll by Ifop for Paris Match and Sud-Radio revealed that the president’s support had fallen by another six points to 23 percent. Philippe was at 26 percent.

    This is the same president that not so long ago, according to The Economist, walked on water. The power of the mainstream media to promote “globalist leaders” evidently has its limits.

    According to retired General Piquemal, leftists have infiltrated the legitimate and peaceful protests and have defaced the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, burned hundreds of cars and blocked roads and fuel depots. He urged the Yellow Vests to converge on Paris next week.

    The Yellow Vest protests have also created problems for French businesses with large retailers suffering an average 8 percent decline in sales on Saturday, according to Nielsen.

    US President Donald Trump on Tuesday mocked the concessions made by Macron to the Yellow Vests, saying they showed that the Paris climate agreement was doomed to failure.

    “I am happy that my friend Emmanuel Macron and the demonstrators in Paris have agreed on the conclusion I reached two years ago,” Donald Trump tweeted after the French government announced a moratorium on the increase in the carbon tax and a freeze on gas and electricity tariffs.

    “The Paris deal is fundamentally bad because it is driving up energy prices for responsible countries, while giving a blank check to some of the worst polluters in the world,” said the White House tenant. who announced a few months after coming to power, the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

    A few hours before his announcement, Emmanuel Macron had accused Donald Trump of having made a “mistake for his country” and “an error for the future of the planet”.

    “I want clean air and clean water, and I’ve made significant progress in improving the environment in America,” the US president said.

    This latest attack by Trump on the Paris Agreement comes at a time when nearly 200 countries have gathered in Katowice, Poland, for the 24th World Climate Conference.

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