November 18, 2018
The government "did not change direction", a day after mobilizing nearly 290,000 "yellow vests" throughout France. Invited on Sunday night 20h from France 2, Edouard Philippe reacted to this day, explaining that he had "heard anger" but also "suffered" from France. While regretting the "scene of anarchy", which leads to his view of severe human casualties (1 death and more than 400 injured), and denouncing "indecent behavior" of politicians who have joined the procession.
Also read – In the face of anger, the government intends to remain on the track
However, for the good of the protest, the prime minister repeated: "Yes, the carbon trajectory that we have set, we will hold it back." In other words, there is no question to review the increase in fuel taxes, especially the tax on diesel fuel, which will further harmonize the price of gasoline. Edouard Philippe defended this move, ensuring that it was not "just to disturb France" but because it was Emmanuel Macron's campaign promise in 2017. He also said he was opposed to leading a "zigzag government" when conditions changed. "The course is good" and "we will hold it," he decided.
The Prime Minister promises "results" at the end of the five-year period
In response, Edouard Philippe mainly emphasized the fact that the commitment made by candidate En Marche – "to reform work", "to reduce mandatory levies" and "to improve the country" – will be held at the end of the quinquennium. The Prime Minister promised "results" that could be seen by all French people in 2022. "They want more support in their daily lives, that is what we will do," he promised.
Like Edouard Philippe, several ministers have reaffirmed this position throughout the day. The government heard "fiscal deterioration" but "its duty" was to change the economy to make it less dependent on oil, especially asking Gerald Darmanin, Acting Minister and Public Account. The "planned trajectory" in terms of ecological taxation will therefore continue, it has also warned colleagues in the Ecological Transition François de Rugy, calling for "to do a lot of pedagogy" and to multiply "direct contact" from members of the government with France.
Not sure that the "yellow vest" was mobilized Saturday and for a small part of them still Sunday were not satisfied with the response from the executive. The question of the continuation of the movement remains wide open.