France in Turmoil

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France in Turmoil

Lindsey Ingrey, Global and Domestic News Editor

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The worst riots in France since student protests in 1968, the Yellow Jacket protests have taken the country by storm. The protest gets its name from the vibrant yellow jackets that all French motorists are required to carry with them. Protesters are angry about the recent hike in gas taxes, and the overall high cost of living in France.

Protestors are blocking access to roads, gas stations, and airports, and are inflicting massive damages to Paris’s fanciest neighborhoods.  Cars have been torched and cafes and houses have been trashed and looted. Even the Arc de Triomphe, a symbol of France, has been defaced with graffiti by the protestors.

The current president of France, Emmanuel Macron, is a controversial figure to the Yellow Jacket protestors. His decision to levy the gas tax caused the French working class to rise up as they believe that the measure favors the wealthy. Some are even going so far as to call for Macron’s resignation. According to a recent Harris Interactive opinion poll, 70% of people polled support the Yellow Jacket movement.

Though this measure was put in place to encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient or electric cars in an effort to mitigate the effects of global warming, the legislation has not been well received within France, calling into question the future of the tax and the fight against global warming in France.