December 4, 2018
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s prime minister on Tuesday suspended planned increases to fuel taxes for six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests, the first major U-turn by President Emmanuel Macron’s administration after 18 months in office.
In announcing the decision, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said anyone would have “to be deaf or blind” not to see or hear the anger on the streets over a policy that Macron has defended as critical to combating climate change.
“The French who have donned yellow vests want taxes to drop, and work to pay. That’s also what we want. If I didn’t manage to explain it, if the ruling majority didn’t manage to convince the French, then something must change,” Philippe said in a TV address.
As well as a six-month delay in introducing the carbon-tax increases, Philippe said the period would be used to discuss other measures to help the working poor who rely on vehicles to get to work and go to the shops.