Have been reading on the BBC about protests in France over a proposed increase in tax on fuel (I assume on gasoline and diesel fuels). I can link to some articles if anyone needs them, though I imagine everyone has read about this. I guess the government backed down on their proposed increases, at least for now, but they are still afraid there will be more (violent) protests this weekend over this issue. I’m curious as to why that is? It doesn’t seem like that much of a hike, and it’s at least partially to try and curb fossil fuel usage and thus CO2 emissions, which I would have thought would be very popular in Europe, including in France. Certainly I could see protests but why violent ones?? Any French or European dopers want to weigh in on what’s going on?
Because the yellow vests (correctly) pegged Macron for a coward.
Because they already pay a lot more than we do for gas?
The fuel tax hike is popular - among educated urban professionals, who live in areas with dense public transportation networks and/or within easy walking and bicycling distance of work and other destinations, and for whom the added cost is marginal or entirely invisible.
It’s not so popular among the rural working class and working poor, who live paycheck to paycheck and already spend a significant portion of that paycheck on fuel to get to jobs that barely pay enough to pay for the gas it takes to drive there.
It’s also a flashpoint issue for broader economic and social concerns. Just as in the U.S. many rural working class folks felt overlooked and disrespected by remote coastal elites, so in France many “provincials” feel overlooked and disrespected by remote Parisian elites. This is just the latest of many economic reforms that they feel have been imposed on them by unaccountable elites who have no understanding of how they live their lives, mixed with wrenching social and economic changes.
And, as well, France in particular has a long tradition of mass protest shading into urban riots, dating back the French Revolution.
Other thread (somewhat more developed) over the France protests here.
says exactly no person with knowledge of theFrench situation.
Who knew that raising taxes could be so unpopular?
Because they guessed (probably correctly) that non-violent ones wouldn’t have the desired effect?
O RLY? If the yellow vests are done with these shennanigans, forever, I will concede your point. However, trying to placate violent people by caving into their demands tends to result in more violence. This has proven true many times throughout history.
So, you’ll concede the point promptly after forever is over?
Of course. But I don’t think it will take 6 months. The fuel tax is not their only grievance, and now they know for a fact violence gets results, whereas before it was a best guess.
My answer to the OP: because in any population, some people are dicks, and protests of any kind tend to attract a small subset of said dicks who like to use the protest as an excuse for dickery.