UPDATE: The French protests were 2010 news (and have been rediscovered around the web). H/t Jeremy C and David for pointing out the date, for a couple of hours I thought it was 2011 news. It’s an apt time to remind everyone in Australia of yet another country that isn’t rushing to become “carbon free”. It’s a rather prophetic warning to the Gillard Government, especially since the NSW landslide election against the Labor Party last weekend is still being analyzed and viewed increasingly as a “seismic event” in Australian politics.
The economic reality of big-debts, and poor decisions made by people spending “other people’s money” always hurts in the long run. Sooner or later it all ends in tears. It’s a common theme: there were deadly protests in Greece, then these French protests in March 2010, and this March, the mass London protests with 250,000 people. Civil unrest is coming.
From The Telegraph and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, March 2010:
President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday scrapped the country’s proposed carbon tax and reshuffled his cabinet in populist tilt after suffering a crushing electoral defeat over the weekend, when his Gaulliste UMP arty lost every region other than in its bastion of Alsace and the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.
The greens were dismayed but business was relieved:
Medef, France’s business lobby, said the demise of the carbon levy was a “relief”. The tax would have been €17 a tonne compared to around €100 in Sweden, but business feared that this would creep up over time…
The trade unions said half of all primary school teachers followed the call to strike on Tuesday, though officials said the figure was 30pc. Half the commuter trains were stopped. The CGT union federation said it planned 180 marches across France to protest pension reform. The retirement age in France is still 60, far short of North European levels around 67. The pension deficit will reach €50bn a year by 2020 without radical changes.
h/t Catallaxy files and Des Moore.
UPDATE #2: stephen richards from France recalls that the protests were largely about pension changes. Comment #22.
Meanwhile Germany is fighting a wall of carbon tax fraud (March 2011):
Germany is looking to recover millions of euros in previously evaded taxes, as charges are filed against directors of companies accused of carrying out carbon credit tax fraud.
It’s another version of the VAT tax carousel fraud.