French PM suspends planned fuel tax increases for six-month period

Protesters angry about rising taxes clash with police in Paris, 81 arrested

The fuel tax was scheduled to take effect on January 1, as part of French President Emmanuel Macron's environmental policy.

He had already promised a 500-million-euro package to help poorer households cope with energy and transport costs, which was roundly rejected by yellow vest supporters.

They marched on the famed avenue behind a big banner which read: "Macron, stop taking us for stupid people".

Many were pressing the president to assuage the anger after the running urban battles seen in the capital on Saturday, when dozens of cars were burned and shops attacked and looted.

Others removed the barriers protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War, which sits under the Arc. So will the protests topple him?, The Daily Express asks. The six-month moratorium aims to allow time for dialogue to help end Macron's biggest crisis since taking office past year.

The French government announced Tuesday that it would suspend planned increases in fuel taxes for six months in a bid to quell fierce protests that have ballooned into the deepest crisis of Emmanuel Macron's presidency. Just three weeks ago, Philippe had insisted the government would be steadfast in the tax plans aimed at weaning French consumers off fossil fuels.

He said the six-month suspension would be applied to fuel tax increases, as well as hikes in electricity and gas prices and strict vehicle emissions controls.

"No tax is worth it to endanger the unity of the nation", - said the Prime Minister.

Macron, for his part, visited a regional government headquarters that was torched by protesters, but he did not speak to reporters.

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The protests have hit major French cities, causing considerable damage for the past three weekends.

"The French don't want crumbs, they want the whole baguette", Benjamin Cauchy, one of the movement's regional leaders, told AFP, although he acknowledged what he called a "first step" towards a "redistribution of wealth in France". They say their incomes are too high to qualify for social welfare benefits but too low to make ends meet.

The measures will cost around 2 billion euros, but will be offset by corresponding spending cuts, a government source said.

Sebastien Chenu, a spokesman for Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party which has supported the Yellow Vests in hopes of capturing their votes, said on LCI that "the French won't be fooled".

"If your only response, Mr".

Announcing the moratorium, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said he understood people's pain. "What we are asking of you Mr. It's a change of course".

During the paramedic protest on Monday, some demonstrators set fire to a small pile of debris and blocked traffic.

Facing the most serious street protests since his election in May 2017, Macron has cancelled a two-day trip to Serbia to stay in France this week.

It was not immediately clear if suspending the tax rise would be enough to placate the "yellow vests" or head off a repeat of the violence that erupted in Paris on Saturday, which officials said was driven by extreme groups on the far-left and far-right, such as the Black bloc and anarchist factions.

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