【明報專訊】THE worst riot in Paris in half a century has turned the Arc de Triomphe into a battlefield. The French government has announced that it will shelve a plan to increase fuel taxes and introduce relief measures to improve people's livelihood in an attempt to placate the public. Globalisation is facing a strong backlash in the Western world. The "yellow vests movement", triggered by the proposed increase in fuel taxes, has put conflicts between urban and rural areas, conflicts between different social classes and the masses' hatred of the wealthy elite on full display. One and a half years ago, the election of Emmanuel Macron as president kept the wave of populism in Europe and the US in check. But he has failed to blaze a trail for France, as his policies are friendly to businesses and wealthy people under a moderate veneer.