The “yellow vest” rebellion caught Macron off-guard when it started on November 17 and poses as an arduous task for him as he struggles to cope with a drop in popularity over his economic reforms, which are being marked as “policies favoring the wealthy.”
With the protestors breaking havoc in the fanciest neighborhoods of Paris, the riot police were overrun. The rioters smashed up luxury cafes and homes that the capital has seen since 1968 further looting the boutiques and torching numerous cars.
The unrest is affecting the country’s economy in the worst possible way. The retailers are suffering, hotel reservations are affected which has flustered the investors.
The otherwise buoyant market is experiencing a plunge in the transport and tourism stocks.
Opposition leader Laurent Wauquiez of the center-right Les Republicains said that the government has gone pear-shaped to gauge the intensity of public fury.
Wauquiez told the reporters “The only outcome from this meeting was the word of a debate in parliament. What we need are gestures that appease, and these must be born out of the one decision every Frenchman is waiting for: scrapping (fuel) tax hikes.”
Cutting Down on Living Costs
The “yellow vest” protest started off as an off-the-cuff protest against rising fuel prices but has transformed into an extensive outburst of anger over the soaring living prices that are squeezing the household budgets of the middle-class.
The movement’s members come from the struggling middle class and the blue-collar working class that lives outside the big cities but carries more revolutionary elements. Making talks all the more knotty, these groups have no clear leadership.
The crux of their protest is to immobilize any future plans of increasing tax. However, they have also demanded Macron to step down as prime minister.
The government seems to be struggling in a bid to pacify the protestors.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told France Inter radio, “Making a small gesture and then sweeping the problem under the carpet, just as has always been done for the last 30 years, does nothing to solve the deeper, structural problems.”
With 7 out of 10 people standing for the “yellow vests”, the public seems to side with the protestors.
As a part of his efforts to curb the increasing climatic change, Macron justifies his action of increasing the fuel tax since it will encourage the French drivers to a less polluting car model instead of driving a diesel-fueled car.
With the government from all over the world will commence a 2-week conference in Poland in an attempt to discuss the measures to prevent the most damaging effects of global warming, the rioters underlined how costly some of these actions will be.
One of around 8 semi-official representatives for the “yellow vests”, Christophe Chalencon as he informed BFM TV that he would not be a part of the discussion to “talk over peanuts.”