The peasants in France are revolting, refusing to pay the “ecotax” their enlightened masters have designed for their betterment. This new green levy on large vehicles was meant to raise money for infrastructure repairs, but recent protests—including road blockades made out of cauliflower—have forced the French government to suspend its implementation. The FT reports:
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced the suspension of the ecotax after a series of demonstrations by hard-pressed farmers, food industry, transport and other businesses in Brittany culminated in angry clashes with police at the weekend, with more protests promised. […][The French government] became a target of the protesters in Brittany, hit by losses especially in its big pork and chicken sectors, despite the region already being promised a 50 per cent reduction in the tax, a charge of €0.12 per km for all vehicles above 3.5 tonnes in weight.
France has been trying, without much success, to close its budget deficit with a raft of new taxes. In addition to this latest fiasco, the proposed 75 percent tax rate on high earners prompted French icon Gerard Depardieu to flee the country, and even has French soccer clubs going Galt.Vive la révolution![Employees clean the highway from cauliflowers thrown by protesters as anti-riot policemen stand guard, on October 27, 2013 in Pont-de-Buis-les-Quimerch, western of France,, a day after a demonstration against an ecotax that will come into effect on January 1, 2014. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.]