For the first time in his presidency, Emmanuel Macron has publicly backed down to protester demands to delay a fuel-tax increase scheduled for January.
Macron, a former investment banker and technocrat, was brought up through France’s elite academies. He often times shunned public debates, favoring more backroom negotiations in order to pass sweeping legislative overhauls.
He has even called for a “cultural revolution,” stripping away employee protections and wealth taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The French president’s goal of initiating a tax in an effort to lower carbon emissions has been met with weekly protest drawing hundreds of thousands of people from across France and political party lines.
The protesters have united, wearing bright colored yellow reflective safety vests and taking over streets and rioting in downtown Paris.
“I don’t want us opposing the French people to defend a tax. That’s the opposite of what we are,” Mr. Macron told Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.
Macron’s approval rating has now hit 18 percent, according to an article published by The Sun. The lowest it has been since his presidency.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Friday that a three-week-old rebellion over taxes had spawned “a monster.”
“These past three weeks have seen the birth of a monster that has escaped its creators,” Castaner said during a press conference. “It’s time now for dialogue.”
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said 8,000 police would be deployed in Paris, out of 89,000 nationwide, and that a dozen armoured vehicles would be stationed around the capital, the Associated Press reports.
(Crusader Journal Staff)