Thousands of people are expected in Paris today for a demonstration against President Emmanuel Macron's government because of rising prices. Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Left Party has long been mobilizing for the "march against expensive living and doing nothing in the climate crisis". Demonstrators from all over France are to be brought to the capital with over 100 buses.
Due to aid worth billions and an energy price cap, inflation in France is currently significantly lower than in other European countries. The trade unions and the opposition were also unable to agree on a joint protest. The unions had already called for a nationwide day of strikes and protests at the end of September, which met with a moderate response.
In the meantime, however, discord is spreading throughout the country. Due to strikes by refinery staff, there is a lack of fuel at a good quarter of the gas stations. Motorists wait in line for hours, scuffles ensue and many worry that despite government intervention, the shortage will not be fixed by the week's autumn break. At some refineries, personnel from Paris were forced to work - promptly there was a call for a cross-industry strike this Tuesday.
The opposition has already tried to use the tense situation to weaken Macron, who is finding himself in difficult waters domestically after losing the absolute majority. She hopes the situation will spark a general strike, said a Green Party politician. Meanwhile, in the Élysée Palace, there are concerns that tensions in various corners could lead to a wave of unrest similar to the yellow vest protests of 2018 and 2019. At that time, the increase in taxes on fuel was the trigger for extensive social protests.
In parliament, the government of the center politician Macron is having a hard time pushing through the budget for the coming year without an absolute majority. It is possible that she will therefore use a special article in the constitution, with which the budget will ultimately be considered adopted even without a vote in parliament. This will give the opposition further impetus to protest - in parliament and on the streets.