Protesters and their horses took over Bastille Square in Paris on Monday. Their message to the government, “nay” to a planned tax hike.
Riding schools are set to see VAT rise to 20 percent from the current seven percent. The French government intends to introduce the increase in January in line with EU regulations.
A crowd of around 4,000 marched in the square with about 200 horses and ponies. Thousands of jobs could disappear.
“6,000 jobs could go. Studies have been completed which confirm that number of losses in the country which is more than the redundancy schemes of some big companies we hear about which politicians are concerned about,” said Serge Lecomte, President of the French Equestrian Federation.
It’s estimated just over two million people take part in equestrian sports in France with claims that up to a third of the 7,000 riding centres will be threatened with closure by the proposed tax hike.
Many of the protesters wore red berets which have come to symbolise a series of regional protests over tax increases.