Violence erupted across France a number of weeks ago, with the protests firing up originally over the rising cost of fuel in the country. But despite the prices being dropped again, the riots have only escalated, with violence and vandalism running rife as other concerns of the French people rose to the fore.
Now President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership is hanging by a rather thin thread as he faces a vote of no confidence in his administration on Thursday in parliament, according to Express UK. Leftist MEPs have labeled the vote as the culmination of “18 months of fiscal injustice” and called on Macron to “radically change direction.”
The Yellow Vest protests erupted on November 17, almost a month ago, in response to Macron’s taxes on diesel. The French president implemented the taxes in what he dubbed a necessary move to prevent climate change and to protect the environment, in the hopes that more citizens would be persuaded to use more environmentally friendly transportation. He was forced to back down on the issue following the protests.
This week, following more than three weeks of consistent protests, Macron announced that there would be wage increases for the lowest working class and that pensioners would be getting tax cuts. The cost of these two measures will increase public spending by €8 to 10 billion.
“While support for Macron cooled among his young, upwardly mobile urban base, anger seethed in the provinces, especially among those who were finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.”https://t.co/YPHxSEun63
— Foreign Affairs (@ForeignAffairs) December 12, 2018
Rebels against Macron and his administration have said that Thursday’s vote of no confidence was “the rejection of unfair social and tax policy conducted for eighteen months”, adding that “violence is never the solution.” They further stated that “not only the fate of the government is at stake,” but “the civil and social peace” of the country as well.
In order to end Macron’s presidency, the motion will have to win a majority vote. This could be a tall order, given the 62 elected on the left in comparison with the 557 deputies in the Assembly.
Macron is not the only one facing a vote of no confidence in Europe. On Wednesday night British Prime Minister Theresa May also faces a vote of no confidence in her leadership as Brexit negotiations come to a head before the March 2019 deadline. Macron and May are reported to have had a telephone meeting scheduled for Wednesday ahead of the two votes.
In Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has also announced he will call for a vote of no confidence in the Law and Justice (PiS) government.