PARIS | The French government caved in after Paris’ worst rioting in decades and delayed an increase in energy taxes Tuesday — but it was seen as “too little, too late” by many protesters whose anger seems increasingly focused on embattled President Emmanuel Macron.
Demonstrators were back in the streets wearing their signature yellow vests. They blocked several fuel depots and, on a highway near the southern city of Aubagne, commandeered a toll booth to let motorists pass for free near a sign reading “Macron dictator.”
The protests began Nov. 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints — the stagnant economy, social injustice and France’ tax system, one of the highest in Europe — and some now call for the government to resign.
Since returning from the G20 summit in Argentina, Macron has either remained in his palace residence or else shied away from speaking publicly about the protests that have created his biggest political crisis since taking office last May.
It was Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who announced a six-month delay in the fuel tax increase that was to have begun in January.