Deadly Demonstrations in France

December 5, 2018
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Deadly protests rage in France.

Fears of more to come.

4 people have died in the worst demonstrations in decades.

What's Going On

Fuel Tax Sparked Protests

  • France recently announced the next fuel tax increase on Jan. 1, 2019; the “green tax” seeks to discourage use of fossil fuels.
  • Fuel prices in France cost approx. $6-8/gal. Taxes would have added an extra 28Ac/gal to diesel (the most popular fuel).
  • Huge anti-government protestsA & riots followed over the last 3 weeks;A 4 people died.


"…if there is such a level of anger … it’s because we still have a lot of things to improve."

Pres. Macron speaking to French lawmakers Wednes. As the threat of more protests loom, lawmakers canceled the fuel tax from the 2019 budget. Macron didn't start the fuel tax – it dates back to 2014 and has gradually risen over the last few years. Regardless, Macron's critics say his policies favor the wealthy.


“There will be more demonstrations. We remain mobilized."

Lionel Cucchi, protestor/spokesman. While the protests started because of the fuel tax, the anger ignited *other* protests varying from farmers wanting higher wages, to students, to truckers threatening to strike. One analyst described protestors as middle class & squeezed by the welfare state – paying high taxes but feeling few benefits.

Why It Matters

  • Protests in France have inspired other violent protests in Europe.
  • In Brussels, protestors took to the streets over higher taxes and food prices.
  • Big Picture: The European Union is under pressure as the U.K’s exit looms & Russia rattles Ukraine. How long will this political crisis in France last? What’s the impact?

America has a fuel tax too. Federal & state fees typically add approximately 52Ac/gallon. These taxes have helped to pay for roads & bridges, though debate rages about their efficacy. The nat'l avg. for a gallon of unleaded in America is $2.44/gal.

by Jenna Lee,