FRANCE MACRON FUEL TAX PROTEST – President’s popularity suffers

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Emmanuel Macron’s popularity took a further hit in recent weeks, according to a recent poll, as fuel tax protests rumbled on across France in the latest sign of discontent with the president’s economic reforms.

Only 25 percent of those questioned in an Ifop poll between Nov. 9 and 17 said they were satisfied with Macron, down from 29 percent in October, according to the survey of almost 2,000 people published in the Journal du Dimanche

Macron, who came to power 18 months ago vowing to reshape the economy and overhaul institutions, has brushed off slumping ratings to push through a series of reforms, including a loosening of laws governing hiring and firing.

His government introduced fuel tax hikes to encourage drivers to embrace less-polluting cars, touching a nerve with voters in rural areas in particular as the extra cost began to bite in October when global oil prices surged.

Angry motorists and other demonstrators, many accusing Macron of being out of touch with ordinary people, blocked roads across France on Saturday through to Monday in a grassroots campaign dubbed the “Yellow Vests” that drew nearly 288,000 protesters.

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