Brexit architect Nigel Farage says the Yellow Vest protests are a result of France’s President Emmanuel Macron virtue signaling to the world instead of connecting to the French people.
“It’s now more about an elite out of touch,” he told Fox News Business. “…Macron, the great globalist, the former investment banker who rarely seems to leave Paris, virtue signaling to the world whether it’s about global warming, or about the free movement of people.”
“But he’s busy with global politics, disconnected completely from ordinary folk out there living in small-town France.”
Farage said the French protestors feel that their government isn’t working anymore and that Macron doesn’t represent them.
“They’re stealing our lives,” one protestor told AFP. “People can’t afford to go on holiday, they don’t have enough to put any money away for saving.”
The protests first erupted around Nov. 17th after Macron’s gas tax hikes substantially raised fuel prices for suburban and rural residents who make daily work commutes into France’s major cities.
Macron had enacted the hikes as part of his “carbon tax” initiatives spearheaded by multinational institutions, which led to a 23% rise in diesel fuel – and diesel cars are popular with French commuters.
Many city workers live in the suburbs and rural areas due to the high cost of living in large cities such as Paris.
“Nobody thinks about the people on the city fringes, in the provinces, in rural areas,” an online petitioner told AFP. “They tell them to use alternative transportation but the reality is that’s not possible.”
“They have no other choice but to pay up.”
The protests have since grown beyond the gas tax issue and has expanded into a demonstration against Macron’s presidency.