This weekend, over a quarter of a million people clad in yellow vests blocked roads throughout France in order to protest new tax hikes on fossil fuels that will jack up diesel prices by a record 23%.
The hikes are an attempt by the French government to support green energy and dissuade French citizens from overindulging in the use of fossil fuels. But French president Emmanuel Macron, who is not looking good in this new green light, did not take into account the level at which his people would refuse to accommodate these new regulations. And the protests haven’t run as smoothly as anyone had hoped for, with hundreds arrested and injured, and even one death. 63-year-old protester Chantal Mazet was killed by a driver who panicked when her car was attacked by a flood of protesters, and drove into the wall of people in an attempt to escape.
In answer to his opposition, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared that energy subsidies would be made available to lower-income households who would be financially drained by the new taxes. But it will take a lot of schmoozing for France to forgive and forget both the tragedy and the trauma of these decisions.