Apologies for being late with my weekly memorable reads. It was a busy week far away from any computer where I could write on. Luckily these past two (and even three) weeks had one memorable event worth writing about. Let’s go.
My memorable reads
Grass-roots anger towards high taxes on fuel (and high taxes in general)
Original source: Belga (2018, November 17). Brandstofprotest in Frankrijk: traangas ingezet aan het Elysée. Retrieved from: http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20181117_03952378
This is something that has been going on for quite a while that’s why I give the first article posted about it on De Standaard.
Les Gilets Jaunes [yellow jackets] first appeared in France around mid-November denouncing the high diesel prices (due to taxes). At first, this just seemed like people complaining about the high costs of living in France. It also stayed contained to France in the beginning. The strikes didn’t stay contained to France for long. Around November 20 the gilet Jaunes reached Belgium, specifically, Wallonia.
In a follow-up article (behind a paywall) on Wednesday, November 21, after the yellow jackets-protests reached Belgium, we get possible arguments why it’s not crossing over to the Flanders (yet).
The main reason for these protests to me, which the aforementioned article only hints at, but gets confirmed in the following days, is the fact that most Walloons don’t have a salary car.
There are a lot more people in Wallonia that are near or below the poverty line and have difficulty making ends meet.
Unfortunately, things escalated last week (like in France, where it also got worse this past weekend) when anarchists and vandals mixed in with the calmer yellow jackets. As a result, multiple police vans and cars got burned. Stores got plundered and destruction of property took place.
It has cooled down, but people are still restless. Time will tell whether this will evolve further or if we are past the peak.
I’m not agreeing with the violence but the anger is understandable. As someone who doesn’t struggle to make do with what I earn, I can only try to understand how helpless they must’ve felt trying to get around with sometimes as little as €1100.
Foreign tourists applaud our public transport. For your daily commute, however, it really isn’t that amazing, especially for people living in more “remote” places, or at least places with bad connections to cities with ample job opportunities. Bad public transport and high taxes on diesel, makes people feel like they have no options left, especially if much of their budget goes to transport.
This was my memorable read (well, more like event) of the past weeks.
Do you have anything that you want to share? Leave a comment with a link or a summary and why you find it interesting.