Nearly 2,000 Arrested as French Riots Escalate

Violence continues, stores looted, as the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) protests over taxation escalate.

According to BFMTV (Translated from French) reports The police carried out 1939 arrests throughout France Saturday, during the demonstrations of gilets jaunes. More than 1709 people were taken into custody.

The Wall Street Journal reports Riots Resurface Across France, Piling Pressure on Macron.

Violence erupted in pockets across Paris, from the torching of cars and smashing of storefronts near the city’s theater district, to the Champs-Élysées, where protesters pried cobblestones from the famous avenue and threw them at columns of police. The day came to a close with demonstrators flowing into the Place de la République, transforming it into a sea of humanity.

Mr. Macron is expected to address the protests early next week. As the demonstration raged Saturday, his cabinet huddled in successive crisis meetings. French officials say the government is considering another gilets-jaunes demand: the reinstatement of a decades-old wealth tax that Mr. Macron abolished as one of his first acts as president.

The government deployed 89,000 police officers across the country in a show of force aimed at containing the movement and breaking its weekslong momentum. The gilets jaunes responded by turning out in numbers that rivaled last week’s protest. By nightfall, demonstrations across France had drawn 125,000 people, according to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, and 118 protesters and 17 police officers were injured.

Paris was on lockdown as the demonstration kicked off. The Eiffel Tower was closed, as were museums and subway lines. Taxis and Uber drivers deserted the streets. Up and down the manicured avenues of the city, shop windows were boarded up.

“Macron taxes the poor and gives to the rich,” said Mr. Mairesse who wore a sign that read, “Give us back the wealth tax,” around his neck. “It’s totally unfair. The rich don’t even know what to do with their money anymore.”

France Closures

Economic Impact

Zerohedge comments " While the dust is still settling from Saturday's protest, it's clear the damage to the economy has been severe."

>On Friday, the French retail federation told Reuters news agency thatretailers had lost about 1bn euros ($1.1bn; £900m) since the protests first began on 17 November*.*

>Mr Le Maire said last week, before the most recent protests, thatthe restaurant trade had declined by between 20% and 50%.

>There areconcerns that the protests could lead to a drop in tourism*. Paris was visited by a record number of tourists in 2017 - more than 40 million, the Paris Tourism Office said last month. -**BBC*

Concessions

The yellow vest movement is in response to higher taxes. It was sparked by Macron's implementation of a diesel tax, now rescinded.

The BBC discusses other concessions.

The government has said it is scrapping the unpopular fuel tax increases in its budget and has frozen electricity and gas prices for 2019. The problem is that protests have erupted over other issues.

Granting concessions in some areas may not placate all the protesters, some of whom are calling for higher wages, lower taxes, better pensions, easier university requirements and even the resignation of the president.

The question is will he give the protesters what they want, which is something very simple: more money in their pockets. Does he think France can afford to economically?

Most Taxed Nation

Please note that France Overtakes Denmark for Top Spot in Most Taxes as Percent of GDP

Here is an interesting comment from Kidhorn in response.

My wife has relatives in France. One sisters family had a single wage earner who retired after 20 years. Apparently in France, it's normal to retire after working for 20 years and citizens think it's their right to retire after 20 years. Their son came to the US to go to college because he couldn't get into a french college. I had to help pay for his college since his dad was retired, After graduation, he had to go back to France because surprisingly it's near impossible to find a good job in the US if you majored in something worthless and no one can understand your English.

Another sister got a free 3 bedroom apartment and was paid to take care of her mother. Taking care of a parent is a job in France and the government will pay you a salary to do so and give you a free place to live. Her mom passed and the government decided that a 3 bedroom apartment was too big for one person so they tried to move her to a smaller apartment. Which was also free. She refused to move. I'm not sure what happened.

All her relatives call us after 9 PM EST, which is after 3 AM in France. I guess if you don't have to wake up and go to work, you can make phone calls at 3 AM.

US vs France

To pay for such things as Kidhorn noted above, you need money from somewhere, or you just print it. The EU caps the latter at 3% of GDP with additional debt limits, so high taxation results.

In the US, we just spend while pretending there is a "Social Security Trust Fund". There isn't, but so far we don't have riots nor do farmers drive their tractors to the capital and dump merde and rotting fruit on the streets.

Our day will come, but only after Europe disintegrates first.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (21)
No. 1-9
Ron Cataldi
Ron Cataldi

Hilarious, right wingers in the US like Mish were holding the example of these riots as some kind of "Trump" or "Brexit" movement against environmentalism... but now the long laundry list of demands comes out and it's like a socialist wish list. Idiots jumped in front of the wrong parade.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

Labeling me as a "right winger" proves you are clueless.

I would slash the military budget by 2/3 - not a right-wing idea I would bring all the troops home - not a right-wing idea I unilaterally support free trade - not a right-wing idea I would legalize drugs - not a right-wing idea I would close Guantanamo Bay - not a right-wing idea I am very much against pollution - just not to support the idiotic global warming thesis. Acid rain and pollution are indeed problems. I do not favor coal.

You clearly have no idea who I am or what I stand for. "Right-winger" indeed

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

Socialists always want more taxes to support their idiotic causes. They just always want those taxes to be on "others" not themselves. The diesel tax to save the environment was simply the final straw.

And if people like Ron Cataldi could read, the laundry list is so big, much of it is contradictory. The far right and far left both are in the protests. They do not have the same demands. There is not even a key protest leader to talk to.

RonJ
RonJ

“Macron taxes the poor and gives to the rich,” said Mr. Mairesse who wore a sign that read, “Give us back the wealth tax,” around his neck. “It’s totally unfair."

Hollande raised the top tax rate to 75%. Actor Gerarde Depardieu left the country, fed up with the high taxes on the rich. A number of French businessmen moved to Belgium as well. The tax increase was counter productive, resulting in less tax than was anticipated. It was later rescinded.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Denmark and Sweden have socialism and similar tax rates to France, yet they have no protests that burn down their capitols. Why?