Listen: France Scraps Fuel Tax Hike But Protesters Add New Demands
"Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from internet essentials from Comcast. Connecting more than six million low income people to low cost high speed internet at home. So students are ready for homework class graduation and more. Now, they're ready for anything the French government's concessions to try and calm down. A protest movement have not worked. Demonstrators will be back in Paris Saturday wearing their yellow vests and carrying a new list of demands NPR's Eleanor Beardsley met some of the yellow vest protesters in the north of France. And she sent this report. Again. It's the American public radio. Does anybody speak English a protester yells out to his comrades? As he greets me. At this yellow vest encampment outside on a traffic circle along a rural highway not far from the Belgian border from to shut up. What did we'll kill turned out? No one speaks English, but they're happy to welcome. Foreign reporter to what they call their headquarters. The protesters are decorating a Christmas tree and they've built a bonfire. Julianne barrel. His among the twenty five or so people manning the post he says he comes every day between his shifts says a hospital orderly to feed you. Known. This will be. League. We've been overwhelmed with all kinds of taxes for too long gas is going up tolls are higher and we can hardly afford to drive to work anymore. We're at a point where we're not living. We're just surviving. So it's time for the French to come together and say stop bear shows me a lean to they've built with boards and scrap metal. It stocked with sausages, chips and wine. He says people drop off food. So the protesters can man their camp day and night. Whole show more than seventy percent of the French support the yellow vest movement despite last weekend's violence, that's obvious here where truckers and motorists honk in solidarity. Some drivers even pullover to chat punk Lewa has placed a yellow vest on his dashboard topa phone. So we'll. And we're one hundred percent behind them. Everyone is feeling the pinch are buying power is decreased. Even those who earn more than the minimum wage can feel it the yellow vest movement rose up in small towns and rural areas like this one where people are dependent on their cars the gas tax and new vehicle inspection. Norms would have hit hard here where many people drive old polluting diesel cars. The government has now dropped those measures. But the gesture may have come to late. The protesters are angry and they have new demands like raising the minimum wage and dissolving parliament there are a couple of things that particularly rankled the yellow vest. Protesters one is that president Emmanuel Macron has scrapped attacks on the super-rich says protester chorine really care. Supllies? You don't. Mccrone is the president of the rich. He gives them tax breaks and makes the little people pay any college tax. He's hit the wrong people. We are for the planet, but cruise ships and planes, pollute a lot more than our little cars. Do this crowd says Macron's proposals show how out of touch he is with the lives of working class people before he was forced to drop his gas tax mackerel had offered one hundred euros back for the purchase of energy-efficient windows that cost ends of thousands of euros. These yellow vest. Protesters say they used to block traffic to get attention, but they don't have to anymore. They've become a national sensation. Eleanor Beardsley in VR news as France."