France, popular revolt (Yellow Vests) What's going on?


France rejected the European Constitutional Treaty in a 2005 referendum.
This treaty was abandoned and replaced by Lisbon Treaty which France joined by parliamentary vote.



Also true.

But neither of those facts contradict the assessment that the main driver of the protests is an increase in the cost of living, both through fuel taxes and other factors. If someone wants to make the case that the underlying cause is anti-EU feeling rather than the increased cost of living, by all means do so. But please be prepared to explain why the public targets are fuel depots, toll roads, the Arc de Triomphe and the national government rather than the Strasbourg parliament or other EU buildings in France.


And that is true too but it occurred six years after France had joined the Euro so the original statement/query was far wide of the mark.



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Thank you for the considered response and for going to the trouble of explaining in such detail why you disagree [/sarcasm]

General commentary on the protests centres around the increased motoring and energy costs as the motivator. Even the quote you posted subsequently has no mention of the EU but does say “Nous voulons vivre et non survivre !!!/e want to live and not (just) survive!”. So if you’re going to re-frame it as an anti-EU protest, against the preponderance of evidence, at least be prepared to support that claim with some evidence of your own.

Again, thank you for that thoughtful and thought provoking counter argument. I really see you point now…


Seeing so many high viz vest reminds me of the bubble years! :laughing:


Things are BOOMIN’ alright. :nin



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Actually the context of these demo is within the broader dislike of the EU. The people manning the roadblocks mostly vote for explicitly anti EU parties, like RN and FI. As Macron said himself if France had a Frexit referendum, even before these current demos kicked off, a larger percentage of the French population would vote to leave than in the UK. With the people who voted for Macron mostly voting to stay, and those who did not vote for him, voting to leave. The pro EU people got a big kick in the teeth recently with the way the Germans contemptuously dismissed the French constructive ideas for badly needed EU reforms. As I’ve said before the guys in Bercy, the Minister of Finance, took note of the Germans very short termist naked self interest and have planned accordingly. The French have a plan for a defacto Frexit. Given the disturbing pattern of German extremely non-communitaire behavior. The Germans are very blunt. We profit greatly from the current situation. When we no longer do, its over.

Macron may have postponed the tax hike but this weekend will be very interesting. As another poster said, the news channels like BFMTV are wall to wall hi viz. Due to the inchoate nature of the situation there is no knowing what happens next. The fact that even Le Pen was invited to the great and the good confab meeting at the Élysée show just how scared the government are. A few days before they were trying to blame her for all the violence. Even though it was the FI and Black Block people doing the rioting, not FN people.


You surveyed them personally?

That’s dedication.


If a picture could tell a story!

The revolution continues!

Ironically while being a smash hit all over the world the musical Les Miserables wasn’t a hit in France.

They live it!


Got family in France? Spent much time there over the decades? Watching and reading the French media daily? Both national and regional. Spent much time following voter turnout demographics in national, regional and local election over the last few decades? Know who votes for who? And why? Hear reports from family and friends about what is happening in their areas? Those are my sources of information and opinion. What are yours? The Guardian? The Huffington Post? Some guy you met in the pub?

The people on the road blocks and blockades, which is where the real action is at the moment, are either apolitical or else vote for a non-center party. Like FI or RN. Go into any bar cafe in any small town / city in France and you will meet and hear lots of these type of people.

This is the typical face of Gilets jaunes all over France at the moment. Very ordinary people who have just had enough of the same old bullshit. The government is not afraid of the casseurs who riot in Paris. Thats business as usual. But they are very very afraid of these provincials. The last time these people mobilized politically the Republic collapsed. At the end of the Fourth.

#34 … 87696.html

Let them eat cake?

How do we square this circle, we have people protesting fuel tax hikes and people protesting climate change inaction (i.e increase fuel taxes) … id=AU%3Aen

different cohorts/types of people at each protest? Or people not following the logic that tackling climate change means less fossil fuel use. The reality is that people are already here and must be able to afford to live and they do not like being pushed into poverty or even having their standard of living decreased much. They cant all afford teslas


France government suspends fuel tax hikes for six months … 70-france/

6 months?
Protesters aren’t going to buy that…

I thought all this was a consequence of agenda 21 (no worries, it’s totally non binding )


At this time of year I get a few Christmas cards from France. The usual family stuff in them but often a throwaway comment too. But one from an elderly small town dweller - I love how they think in French and write in English
“…as you know France is facing a sad revolution…” then back to family stuff.


as opposed to “… facing a happy revolution…”


How will your written French be when you’re heading for 90 ?
I’d say if you discussed it with them in French the word used would be “tragic”…meaning a sad, but avoidable mess for poor sad people driven to action by Macron et al.


This really has been a very slow motion disaster. Playing out for close to 20 years. The real tragedy is that the financial crisis happened at the beginning of Sarkozys term, not the end. With different timing Sarkozy would have been able to push through the needed reforms. He was given just enough space by the other side to try to pull off a Mendes France. Now too late. And Macron has zero of the political skills of a Sarkozy or even a DSK. The only other guy who could have succeeded politically in pushing through the necessary reforms.

This is a very weird week. Everyone is holding their breath. Everyone is waiting to see what happen with “Act 4” this weekend. Given how politically tone deaf and behind the curve Macron has been so far its going to be interesting to see what the position of the presidential office is next Monday. This is not May '68. The Head of State double checks with the military that they will back him and then he orders the Place Beauvau to pick up all the leaders of the other side to keep them out of circulation while the situation winds down. With the gilet jaune there are no ring leaders to pick up. Plus its mostly at a local level and as they discovered in 2013 in Brittany the local police when push comes to shove will not move in these situations.

I see the eco twits are refusing to call of their “Climate Change” demo in Paris on Saturday. If the gilet jaune want to see who the real enemy is look no further than Nicolas Hulot and his lot. It will be very interesting to see if the casseurs decided to disrupt the “Climate Change” demo if it goes ahead. I would pay good money to see those smug sanctimonious bobos have the crap beaten out of them by the casseurs. In fact the casseurs beat the crap out of the ecos and the CRS beat the crap out of the casseurs would be the ideal outcome. A satisfying circle jerk of street violence.

Whatever happens I think there is a good chance the political map of France will be very different after this weekend. Interesting times. But in a very bad way. For La France Profonde and its people.


In your opinion what are the necessary reforms?