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France Caves In To Brittany ‘Ecotax’ Protesters

Tony Todd, France24 News

The French government has decided to suspend an unpopular environmental tax on heavy goods vehicles following a weekend of protests in Brittany. The move is expected to cost the France hundreds of millions of euros in lost revenue.

 Manifestation au portique écotaxe de Pont-le-Buis (Finistère), le 12 octobre 2013

In a humiliating climb-down Tuesday, the French government “suspended indefinitely” a green tax on heavy goods vehicles that was due to go into force in January 2014, following a weekend of violent protests in Brittany.

Des manifestants affrontent les forces de l'ordre à Pont-de-Buis, dans l'Ouest,  - Fred Tanneau - AFP

The unpopular “ecotax”, aimed at encouraging environmentally-friendly commercial transport, was designed to impose new levies on French and foreign vehicles transporting commercial goods weighing over 3.5 tonnes.

Critics in Brittany said the tax would seriously damage the region’s precarious farming and food sectors by increasing transportation costs, driving companies out of business and leading to major job losses.

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