French Government Gives Green Light for Fresh Paris Protest
(Bloomberg) -- French protesters are set to hold a second demonstration in Paris on Saturday to urge President Emmanuel Macron to abandon higher gasoline taxes.
Sporadic blockades have continued since close to 300,000 people were estimated to have taken to the streets across the country last Saturday.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Thursday that authorities would allow a gathering next to the Eiffel Tower this Saturday, rejecting requests to hold the event on the Place de la Concorde, at the foot of the Champs-Elysees, because of security concerns.
The “gilets jaunes” protests, named after the yellow safety vests drivers need to keep in their cars, follow rising prices at the pump this year that protesters blame on higher taxes. Macron has refused to back down on what he sees as part of a long-term goal of weaning France off fossil fuels.
Castaner said earlier this week that the protests had become “totally excessive,” saying close to 100 police officers had been injured. An Elabe poll published on Wednesday showed that approval for the demonstrations remained at 70 percent, down three points, with 79 percent saying the government should change its policies.
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