Yellow Vest Riots Set Fire to Government Tax on Fuel


Valentina Maio, Contributor

In November, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, approved a law on tax increase for fuel, not expecting the tragic response of the overall Parisian population.

The main goal the government  set was to decrease the amount of fuel gases that aggravate the climate every day, and improve the quality of the air and prevent its pollution from getting worse. To achieve this goal, the government made the radical decision to change the taxes on fuel overnight. The law drastically damaged the parisian population, and triggered an estimated  33,000 people clogging the streets in protest against the law.

Most of the protestors were wearing yellow vest jackets due to a video that a parisian man had posted on the internet, asking his fellow citizens to join him and support his cause by wearing the jacket during the protest.

The protest was initially peaceful and easily contained by the police, but it soon became a much more serious protest. President Macron was forced to place Paris into lockdown, and the 8,000 police officers that were deployed across the city started organizing violent clashes that injured many citizens and killed six people. Because of the tragic events that struck Paris which suscitated more attacks on Macron’s presidency  and leadership, the President was forced to scrap the law and consider the general opinion of the population.

Another solutions that could have been taken, could have been replacing the most common fuel-depending public transportation with electric transportation, resulting in an attainment that is profitable and useful for the environment. Less than a month after these rebellions, the President gave a speech for the coming of the New Year, where he respectfully mourned the deaths of the “Yellow vest” protests and apologized saying, “We are free in our country only because generations before us fought not to suffer from despotism or any tyranny, and this freedom requires a republican order, it requires the respect of each and all opinions.”

As a final apology he increased the minimum wage and scrapped new pension taxes.