MACRON SURRENDERS: France Moves to Permanently 'Abandon' Climate Tax After Protests

MACRON SURRENDERS: France Moves to Permanently 'Abandon' Climate Tax After Protests

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday urged politicians and union officials to launch a "call for calm", with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe echoing that call in parliament and urged politicians to be responsible.

His Prime Minister told reporters the "tax is now abandoned", adding the administration is "ready for dialogue" to avoid future violence surrounding the policy. Macron had said the increases were necessary to reduce France's reliance on fossil fuels and to tackle climate change.

Protesters wearing yellow vests, the symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel prices, occupy a roundabout in Roppenheim, France, Dec. 6, 2018.

The Elabe survey of 1,002 people was carried out online Tuesday and Wednesday for BFM television.

Tax hikes on fuel and pensions, seen by the protesters as fleecing the working and middle classes to fund tax breaks for the rich, coupled with a series of remarks seen as scornful of the poor, have hardened feelings towards him. Some 136,000 people protested in Paris over the weekend.

President Emmanuel Macron met Friday night with about 60 anti-riot security officers who will be deployed in Paris.

"I have no problem admitting that on such or such question we could have done differently, that if there is such a level of anger.it's because we still have a lot of things to improve", Macron told legislators.

In the face of the sometimes violent protests, the government said this week that it would suspend the fuel tax increase.

The proposed fuel tax was implemented to combat global climate change; protesters, especially those in the suburbs, said it imposed too high a burden and was unaffordable. Other police unions are not talking about strikes - but two police union officials told The Associated Press they are anxious about radical troublemakers and others taking advantage of the protest atmosphere to cause even greater damage this Saturday. Yet it would be misleading not to acknowledge that during this second round a much more significant number of voters voted against Le Pen rather than for Macron and that during the first round two weeks earlier (April 23, 2017), he had won only 24% of the vote (21% for Le Pen and 20% for both far-left candidate Mélenchon and traditional right candidate Fillon).

The sweep of the protests and their wide support by citizens of all political stripes has shocked Macron's government.

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The "yellow vest" protests have been accompanied by violent clashes between the protesters and police, rioting, burning cars and destroyed shops and banks in Paris.

The government pledged to provide subsidies for the purchase of less polluting cars-which no one can be against, of course-except when these people simply cannot make ends meet.

Protesters occupy a roundabout in Gaillon, France, Thursday.

One of the protesters' big complaints is that they are heavily taxed.

Student unions called a day of action on Thursday after three days of lower level protests.

One student was injured during protests in front of a high school in Saint-Jean-de-Braye in north-central France. BFM said he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.

He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests and has largely remained in his palace residence.

More than a dozen of museums and other cultural sites in Paris will be closed this weekend amid fears of new rioting at protests called in the French capital by the "yellow vest" movement.

"If not there will be chaos", said Christophe Chalencon.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that among the protesters were people from across the country who had descended upon Paris with the express intent of causing trouble.

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