French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe says the country's planned fuel tax scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 is now on hold for at least six months, after weeks of large protests.
"No tax deserves to endanger the unity of the nation," Philippe said. Large protests took place on France's streets in nearly a month of protests that resulted in four deaths. The protests quickly became a movement, with its members using the safety vests. On the last days, the Arc de Triomphe national monument was defaced and avenues off the Champs Elysees were damaged. Cars, buildings and some cafes were torched. Many criticized the president for pursuing policies they say favor the rich and do nothing to help the poor.
Along with the delay to the tax increases that were set for January, Philippe said the time would be used to discuss other measures to help the working poor and squeezed middle-class who rely on vehicles to get to work and go shopping. On the other part, governments meet in Poland to try to agree measures to avert the most damaging consequences of global warming, an issue Macron has made a central part of his agenda. His carbon taxes were designed to address the issue.