Guest essay by Eric Worrall
France has been brought to a standstill as yellow vests opposed to President Macron’s climate policies joined forces with around 800,000 protestors opposed to cost of living increases, fuel price hikes and pension reforms.
Tensions flare in Paris as yellow vests join French retirement protests
Scuffles broke out in Paris between police and protesters as yellow vest activists joined the wave of protest actions against the Government’s overhaul of France’s national retirement system.
Truckers joined the demonstrations, blocking roads in 10 regions across France to protest against a planned reduction in tax breaks on diesel for road transport
A similar fuel tax is what unleashed the yellow vest movement a year ago, and this convergence of grievances could pose a major new threat to Macron’s presidency.
In Paris there were scuffles with police as several hundred yellow vest protesters continued their weekly demonstrations, but numbers were relatively small compared with previous weeks as the transport strike made it hard to reach the capital.
Train and metro services remained heavily disrupted by the pension strike.
The combined pressure of the yellow vest movement over the cost of living and union protests against pension reform are a major challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to balance the state budget and introduce more environmentally friendly legislation in the second half of his mandate.
…Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-08/tensions-as-yellow-vests-join-french-retirement-protests/11777418
The protestors appear to have legitimate grievances; Macron’s pension reforms, climate policies, fuel price increases and other “reforms” are causing real hardship.
But President Macron, who once promised to be remote and decisive like the Roman God Jupiter, appears determined to demonstrate his authority by sending armed riot police to smash protests with force.
My thought; French history has some sharp lessons for rulers who believe they are above caring about the will of the people.