Paris – The one-man rule of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is known to be a staunch proponent of a liberal and capitalist economy, received a severe setback due to the violent nationwide protests. For the first time since he became the French President, there is a growing demand for his resignation from all quarters of the country. The circumstances have forced the French government to concede to the protestors and suspend the fuel tax hike.
Since the last three weeks, President Macron’s decision to increase the fuel taxes has spurred strong protests in different parts of France including the capital city of Paris. As the French government initially turned a blind eye towards the protests, the demonstrations became more aggressive in the last week. The roads, transport were stopped and blocked in Paris and other parts of the country. At the same time, thousands of people participated in the protests in Paris which began with sloganeering against the government.
The demonstrations that came to be known as the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests turned violent last week. Rioting began in many parts including the capital which caused vandalism of cars, buildings and shops as also arson. Even the historical monuments in France were not spared. The action of the French police during the protests was heavily debated. The protestors attacked police which was a clear warning that they would not retreat under any circumstances. The French President’s preparations to impose a state of emergency only added fuel to the fire.
Many schools were forced to close on Monday while students also participated in the protests. The protestors declined the invitation from the government for talks which further intensified the differences between the two factions. Given the developments, the government was forced to back out and suspend the fuel price revision. The analysts have claimed that so-called Yellow Vest protests were the most significant challenge faced by French President Macron since his term began one and a half years ago. Moreover, the French media have compared the movement to the extensive student agitation of 1968. The movement had forced the then President Charles de Gaulle to resign.