French farmers are still not happy even though French president Francois Hollande decided to roll back the “ecotax” on large trucks following riots last week. Riots continued on Saturday, after the announced rollback.
For the prelude to this story please see my Thursday, October 31, post, Hollande’s Tax Everything Plan Blows Sky High With Riots by Farmers.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday indefinitely suspended the introduction of a green tax on trucks following riots at the weekend in the Brittany region.
The move comes three days after a protest by hundreds of food producers, artisans and distributors in the western Brittany region ended in the worst riots in the area in years.
Indefinite Not Good Enough
The “indefinite rollback” on the “ecotax” (an allegedly environmentally friendly commercial transport, tax on French and foreign vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes) was not acceptable to the farmers, artisans and distributors. They demanded a permanent rollback.
Riots resumed on Saturday prompting French riot police use tear gas on anti-tax protesters.
French riot police fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators in north-west France on Saturday, after some protesters hurled stones and iron bars at them in a rally against a controversial green tax and layoffs.
Protest organisers said 30,000 people, including hauliers, fishermen and food industry workers, had gathered in the town of Quimper in Brittany to demonstrate against an environmental tax on trucks and layoffs, even though the government had earlier in the week suspended the application of the so-called ecotax.
Authorities estimate that 15,000 people joined in the protest.
Some of the protestors pelted police with stones, iron bars and even pots of chrysanthemum, while others burned palettes. Police responded with water cannons and tear gas.
The prefect of the department of Finistere, Jean-Luc Videlaine, blamed the violence on a “marginal group” of right-wing extremists, who he said were believed to be among the protesters.
On Saturday, protestors marched under banners such as “Right to work”, “Bretons yes, sheep no” and “France is not a cash cow“.
Many also wore red caps, a symbol of the anti-tax campaign in Brittany in the 17th century.
Officials said the suspension of the tax, which would raise about one billion euros per year, would last at least several months.
Environmentalists slammed the Socialist government for postponing the tax, with Green MEP Jose Bove calling the move “pathetic” and an “incredible retreat”.
No One Is Happy
What the hell was Hollande thinking when his officials announce the suspension for “at least several months”?
Was everyone but the environmentalists supposed to be happy?
“France is Not a Cash Cow”
Whoever coined the phrase “France is Not a Cash Cow” sure has that correct.
Then again, no country is a cash cow. They all tax their citizens to death then redistribute the proceeds with graft, cronyism, fraud, and plain government inefficiencies wasting most of the money.
France is so adept at wasting taxpayers’ money that even the socialists are rioting.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock