French National Assembly holds session on outlining response to yellow vest protests

French National Assembly holds session on outlining response to yellow vest protests

Today, French lawmakers will debate the government’s response to the ‘yellow vest’ protests that have rocked the country over the

French ambulance drivers hold blue, white, red smoke bombs during a demonstration at the Place de la Concorde in Paris

Photo: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Today, French lawmakers will debate the government’s response to the ‘yellow vest’ protests that have rocked the country over the past three weeks.

While President Macron has suggested he might consider imposing a state of emergency, opposition parties are expected to pressure the president into scrapping additional reforms that have driven public anger, such as tax cuts for corporations and the decision earlier this year to abolish a wealth tax.  This comes following PM Philippe’s confirmation that the government will cancel next year’s planned fuel tax increase.

The stalling of these reforms would undermine the Macron government’s plans to make the French economy more competitive. However, with public support for the protests exceeding 70%, Macron is unlikely to declare a state of emergency and will probably make additional concessions on fuel and consumption taxes. In the face of slowing growth, changes to planned tax reforms are likely to hinder short-term efforts to further reduce the budget deficit. Long-term, it raises questions about Macron’s ability to pass even more contentious economic reforms to the French pension system and energy sector.

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