The Australian government has taken a lot of flak from the EU for not doing ever more to cut back on carbon emissions. Much of that noise has come from France.
The nation — which derives 75% of its electricity from nuclear power — has been among the voices on EU panels threatening to cut Australia out of any free trade deals if the government doesn’t commit to ramping up onerous and costly reductions.
But in a striking sign of hypocrisy, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has now announced a six-month moratorium on petrol and diesel tax hikes.
Diesel fuel has been found to be far more polluting than previously thought. In the past it had enjoyed subsidies. But the French government had planned to implement new taxes to discourage its use and reflect the potential damage it does to the environment.
France’s fuel price protests
But increasingly angry protests across the country in recent weeks has put an end to that plan…or at the least delayed it.
Philippe has also said that increases in gas and electricity prices, as well as plans to strengthen safety checks on vehicles, will also be deferred during the process of a national consultation.
As RAW reports, 17 November marked the beginning of the ‘yellow vests’ protests. These protests concentrated on condemning tax increases on diesel by President Emmanuel Macron, which in turn will put a squeeze on household spending.
Philippe said on Tuesday in a televised address that this or any other tax rise isn’t ‘worth putting the unity of the nation at risk’.
412 people were arrested and over 1000 injured, and dozens of cars torched during the riots, which was one of the worst riots France has seen in years.
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