What are they protesting against?
Macron’s government has imposed several climate change-related fuel taxes in recent months — including another slated to take effect in January. Macron says the taxes are meant to encourage drivers to exchange diesel-fuelled vehicles for more environmentally-friendly models, but many middle-class French citizens say the taxes are squeezing them to the breaking point…
…Macron vowed last week to stick to his planned fuel taxes, which are part of France’s efforts to meet the targets it set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Marcon promised to make the environment a priority when he was elected 18 months ago, but his tax policies have alienated many in the middle class.
“Clearly, countries where inequalities are the highest are the ones where these kinds of pushbacks are most likely,” Francois Gemenne, a specialist in geopolitics at SciencesPo University in Paris, told Reuters.
Gemenne says environmental policies have already generated heavy backlash in other countries such as Italy, the United States and Britain. “I guess it’s one of the reasons why populist leaders tend to be very skeptical about climate change and environmental measures,” he said.