W2W - the French people make their concerns felt

IN January, the French President told Andrew Marr in an interview that the country would probably vote for Frexit.

That opportunity was immediately dismissed by Mr Macron, as were the concerns of hundreds of thousands of people who descended on Paris over recent weeks to protest against hikes in fuel prices.

The move comes after costs have already risen by 23 per cent under EU-backed efforts to drive diesel vehicles off the road.

An avowed environmentalist, Mr Macron has pushed these taxes through, seemingly not caring that much of rural France will feel the pain, disproportionately.

His “let them ride buses” attitude has enraging his people, who see him as part of an out-of-touch elite.

The President’s lavish tax breaks for bankers returning post Brexit have only added to the outrage.

In a country with a tradition of violent political upheaval, his stance is risky, to say the least.

And, on that note, we have seen protesters flowing down the grand Parisian boulevards, originally designed to thwart the barricades of the Revolution, smashing statues, trashing elegant shops and burning expensive cars.

Emboldened by this action, others feeling the pinch, such as students and ambulance drivers, have joined in.

In response, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a six-month suspension of the fuel taxes on Tuesday, though I doubt it will be enough.

Far from pushing back the tide of rising nationalism in Europe, Mr Macron, with his disdain for voters’ concerns, has encouraged it.

With his approval ratings plummeting, Marine Le Pen must be rubbing her hands in anticipation.

This disturbance is not just about a President, though.

Right across Europe, a growing unease at the way it’s governed is becoming more and more apparent.