French Gas Tax Protesters Head to Paris to Challenge Macron

(Bloomberg) -- The grassroots movement that blocked roads across France for the past week to protest higher gasoline taxes is converging on Paris this weekend and police are bracing for trouble.

Authorities have offered a downtown park for the demonstration, but local chapters say they won’t be told where to protest, leading to fears of clashes with riot police. Police expect about 30,000 to turn up, but no one really knows.

Key Insights:

  • The so-called “yellow jacket" drivers’ protest has already run further than most people expected and it’s starting to alarm the government -- supposed to last just a day, demonstrations went on all week. And over three-quarters of the French public support then, according to polls.
  • The movement is knitting together disparate groups united not just by their opposition to gas taxes, but anger at the president. Their complaints range from vanishing local services to the abolition of the wealth tax and the cost of living.
  • The government response isn’t working. Offers of aid for cleaner vehicles and home heating systems haven’t calmed the protests and the administration refuses to back down on its ecological taxes.

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