French police clashed with angry demonstrators in the Breton city of Quimper on Saturday. They were protesting against a proposed tax on heavy goods vehicles, despite the government suspending plans for the tax during the week.
Previous demonstrations by farmers and truckers in Brittany prompted the government’s backpedaling on the controversial “eco tax.”
France is under pressure from European partners to reduce its public deficit. That has led to tax rises and fueled rising discontent. Opinion polls show François Hollande with the lowest approval rating of any French president on record.
Hollande’s Socialist government has also backed down on a proposed tax on savings, reinstated a tax break on education costs and dropped a planned new tax on business turnover, each after protests by interest groups.