Yellow vests movement
|Yellow vests movement|
Gilets jaunes protests
|Part of |
A Gilets jaunes protest in
|Date||17 November 2018 – present|
(6 months and 30 days)
|Parties to the civil conflict|
|Death(s)||15 civilians (12 in France and 3 in Belgium)|
The yellow vests movement or yellow jackets movement (
The movement spans the political spectrum. According to one poll, few of those protesting had voted for Macron in the
The protests have involved demonstrations and the blocking of roads and fuel depots, some of which developed into major riots, described as the most violent since
The issue on which the French movement centred at first was the projected 2019 increase in fuel taxes, particularly on diesel fuel. The yellow vest became the symbol of the protests, as the French are required to have a yellow vest in their vehicles.
Already low in early 2018,
Late in June 2017, Macron's Minister of Justice,
In the 1950s,
The price of petrol (SP95-E10) decreased during 2018, from €1.47 per litre in January to €1.43 per litre in the last week of November.
Prices of petrol and diesel fuel increased by 15 percent and 23 percent respectively between October 2017 and October 2018. The world market purchase price of petrol for distributors increased by 28 percent over the previous year; for diesel, by 35 percent. Costs of distribution increased by 40 percent. VAT included, diesel taxes increased by 14 percent over one year and petrol taxes by 7.5 percent. The tax increase had been 7.6 cents per litre on diesel and 3.9 cents on petrol in 2018, with a further increase of 6.5 cents on diesel and 2.9 cents on petrol planned for 1 January 2019.
The taxes collected on the sale of fuel are:
The protesters criticized
Diesel prices in France increased by 16 percent in 2018, with taxes on both
The government's decision in 2017 to cut the speed limit on country roads from 1 July 2018 from 90 to 80km/h with the aim to save 200 lives each year, despite opposition, was a factor in the rise of the movement, being seen as a failure to understand the needs of rural residents who are totally reliant on their cars. Vandalism of traffic enforcement cameras grew significantly after the yellow vest movement began.
Safety results have been improved in 2018, with hundred of lives saved, but since the Yellow vests movement road traffic insecurity increased again.
The protesters claim that the fuel tax is intended to finance tax cuts for big business, with some critics such as Dania Koleilat Khatib claiming that spending should be cut instead. Macron said the goal of the administration's economic reform program is to increase France's competitiveness in the global economy, and says that the fuel tax is intended to discourage fossil-fuel use. Many of the yellow jackets are primarily motivated by economic difficulties due to low salaries and high energy prices. The majority of the yellow jacket movement wants to fight
No one knows how the high-visibility yellow vest came to be chosen as the symbol and uniform for the movement, and no one has claimed to be its originator. The movement originated with French motorists from rural areas who had long commutes protesting against an increase in fuel taxes, wearing the yellow vests that, under a 2008 French law, all motorists are required to keep in their vehicles and to wear in case of emergency. The symbol has become "a unifying thread and call to arms" because yellow vests are common and inexpensive, easy to wear over any clothing, associated with working class industries, highly visible, and widely understood as a distress signal. As the movement grew to include grievances beyond fuel taxes, non-motorists in France put on yellow vests and joined the demonstrations, as did protesters in other countries with diverse (and sometimes conflicting) grievances of their own. In the words of one commentator, "The uniform of this revolution is as accessible as the frustration and fury."