France:Truckers disrupt traffic in green tax revolt

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France:Truckers disrupt traffic in green tax revolt

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Truckers have been disrupting traffic on major roads across France to demand that a planned green tax be buried once and for all.

Partial roadblocks were set up around several cities with organisers saying 4,500 lorries were involved.

After earlier protests, the government suspended the so-called ‘eco-tax’ on heavy road transport. But the truckers say that is not good enough.

“Suspended? It doesn’t mean a thing because the companies charged with administering the tax are still contacting hauliers to get them to sign up for it,” said one protester.”

“We have too many social security contributions in France, too many taxes and one more is one too many,” another man added.

The tax is intended to pay for wear and tear on the roads as well as encouraging alternatives like rail freight, ships and canal barges.

Introduced under ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy but never enforced, it is the current Socialist government that is moving to implement it.

At the forefront of opposition to the tax have been red-capped protesters in Brittany, inspired by red bonnets worn in a 17th century tax revolt.

Today’s rebellion puts more pressure on François Hollande who has already registered the lowest approval ratings of any French president on record.