Major protests in France

December 10, 2018

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has called for “national unity” after a fourth weekend of protests in the country.

Around 125,000 people took part in marches across France on Saturday.

Nearly 90,000 police officers had been put on the streets, including 8,000 in the capital city Paris.

Why are people protesting?
Many people in France are angry about the cost of fuel and the rising living costs.

In the last year, the cost of diesel has gone up by about 23% in France.

The cost has gone up because of a tax introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron and his government.

The rise in price is to raise money for cleaner cars and more renewable energy, as part of tackling the issue of climate change.

Macron’s government raised his tax this year by 7.6 cents per litre for diesel (the most commonly used fuel in French cars) and 3.9 cents for petrol
A decision to add a further increase of 6.5 cents for diesel and 2.9 cents for petrol on 1 January 2019 was seen as the final straw – and protests have followed.

But the government has now said it is scrapping the unpopular fuel tax increases in its budget and has frozen electricity and gas prices for 2019.

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