The recently created French social movement, Gilets jaunes, has caused troubles in Wallonia. You have probably heard about them over the last couple of weeks. In case you haven’t, it’s worth getting some background information.
The whole story started when Emmanuel Macron, President of France, decided to increase taxes on fuels. Hundreds of both random citizens and partisans have found this decision unfair and/or irrelevant. Therefore they have decided to protest across France.
While there was not much to be expected at the beginning, thousands of protesters wearing a ‘gilet jaune’ (the yellow shirt you have in your car) showed up last weekend on French roads in order to bar the cars from circulating. A demonstrator died, as well as dozens of people were injured. This social movement has kept on inducing troubles and disruptions in France, and this weekend is no exception with this regard.
Some people might have found a way to make French and Belgian citizens friends again, after the two countries argued about football not too long ago. The Gilets jaunes movement got reactions in Belgium, specifically in Wallonia.
Over the last days, some hundreds of people have been involved in a similar initiative, and gathered in some Walloon cities. Why only in Wallonia?
“In Flanders, the salaries are often higher than in Wallonia. Those who, in the South of the country, have troubles to live acceptably at the end of the month, will feel more the increase of the price of fuel,” told RTL Juni Jones, spokesperson of the Flemish union of drivers.
In Wallonia, some strategic points are targeted by the demonstrations, particularly fuel depots. The Belgian Federation of fuel dealers announced that some depots would be closed over the weekend, because of the dangerous situation that could occur.
In Feluy (Hainaut), incidents took place on Wednesday-Thursday night, involving about 400 people. 23 of them were arrested and an emergency plan has been set up.
Some scenes of violence were also recorded. “This is totally unacceptable violence,” told Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime minister, earlier this week. As an example, a journalist was injured and his car was damaged.
What will happen next? Stay tuned.