France could change position over wealth tax, says government spokesman

France could change position over wealth tax, says government spokesman

France could change position over wealth tax, says government spokesman

The protests began November 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints - the stagnant economy, social injustice and France' tax system. This works out to an average of 1.51 euros (£1.32) per litre, the highest it has been since the early 2000s.

On Sunday, President Emmanuel Macron considered declaring a state of emergency as he met security chiefs seeking a way out of nationwide protests after rioters turned central Paris into a battle zone and vandalized the Arc de Triomphe monument.

A protester wearing a yellow vest, the symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel prices, holds a flag near burning debris at the approach to the A2 Paris-Brussels Motorway, in Fontaine-Notre-Dame, France, December 4, 2018.

A soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier, scheduled for Saturday in Paris, was postponed after police said they couldn't guarantee security there and at protests simultaneously.

He has not commented since the price hike was suspended on Tuesday, but Mr Philippe said the government would have to be "deaf or blind" not to recognise that the policy was widely unpopular.

He added the delay will means consultations across the country can take place to see what else can be introduced to help people who will be hit by the hardest.

The Elysée also confirmed the announcement to network France 24.

Jacline Mouraud, a self-proclaimed spokesperson for the so-called "yellow vest" protesters, told The Associated Press that Macron's move "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement".

He said to reporter Chris Bockman in Toulouse: "The measures announced today do not satisfy us at all, for the simple reason they don't go far enough".

However, they have since evolved into a bigger, general anti-Macron uprising, with many criticising the president for pursuing policies they claim favour the richest members of French society. They want the baguette.

"We're sick and exhausted of taxes being raised and the quality of public services going down".

Economists frequently note that fuel taxes or carbon taxes are more elegant solutions than fuel-economy mandates to promote better fuel efficiency and cleaner air. Where is the money going?

"It's a first step, but we will not settle for a crumb", Benjamin Chaucy, one of the leaders of the protest, told Al Jazeera.

Mr Macron's popularity has fallen dramatically over the last few recent months amid accusations he is a "president for the rich".

Last weekend, more than 130 people were injured and 412 arrested in rioting in the French capital.

The unrest over the squeeze on household budgets comes as OECD data showed France had become the most highly taxed country in the developed world, surpassing even traditionally high-tax-paying Scandinavian nations.

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