After more than two weeks of strong demonstrations, the Élysée Palace, through the Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, announced the “suspension” during six months of the increase in fuel prices that was foreseen for January 1. Besides, Philippe announced that during the same period, they would not increase gas and electricity rates. This is a clear expression of the strength of the protests and that this is the path to defeat Macron and the European Union’s austerity plan.
By Daniel Sugasti
Macron’s unexpected retreat, he who always bragged that he would not be intimidated by “the streets”, may only be explained by the tremendous strength of the wave of protests of the so-called yellow vests that shook Paris and influenced the world.
Evidently, the government expects this measure to calm the protestors, which have the sympathy of 70% of the French. However, this is yet to be seen. The movement, although it began due to the fuel policy has long ago overcome this and increased its demands. Besides, each time more sectors joined.
The protestors also demand for the poorer and the middle classes to pay fewer taxes and for great fortunes to be taxed. They demand an increase in the minimum wage and many go beyond this and demand the renunciation of President Macron. Students have also joined the protests in the last days.
We insist: this is a first and very important partial victory. However, the fight must continue as strong as it has been. We know that the increase in fuel price is just part of a broad plan of attacks against the working class, like the labor reform and the reform of the public railway. It is necessary to remain in the streets. There must be no demobilization, and the pressure must continue. This is the only way to change the situation. The working class and the French people show the path for the workers of Europe and the world.