The French government’s decision to call a moratorium on the draconian energy tax rises that provoked massive protests which went far beyond the capital has bought the Macron government some time for reflection over the Christmas break.
Emmanuel Macron has failed to pass off his tax rises as part of a ‘green’ agenda. But the hated president is clearly hoping that the Yellow Vests, a largely leaderless movement that took the protests to the streets last month, will fade away over the festive season to allow him to resume his anti-working class offensive next year.
Macron is a charlatan who posed as a social-democrat when he became the youngest president of the republic at the age of 39 last year. Once dubbed the “French Tony Blair”, he soon showed his true colours as a willing tool of the bourgeoisie by attacking union rights and stepping up the austerity regime.
The left, weakened by the duplicity of venal social-democratic leaders and the terminal decline of the revisionist communist party, was incapable of mounting an organised resistance to the Macron regime. But the energy price hikes provoked the masses, whose traditional street protests go back to the times of the French revolution.
Last weekend’s police brutality, which turned central Paris into a battle-ground, led to communist, union and left social-democratic calls for a “united front” to bring down the Macron government.
That clearly forced the government’s hand. What happens next depends on whether the left forces can indeed unite on a common platform to stop Macron in his tracks and end the austerity regime.