"France long ago adopted “free” college education, allowing French students to attend university tuition-free. Roughly 800,000 students from a lower- or middle-income background also receive a monthly government allowance of €234 to cover their living expenses. Anas received $500 a month. In fact, the French government spends €5.7 billion ($6 billion U.S.) on means-tested assistance to college students, more than it spends on foreign affairs.
But in 2017, President Emmanuel Macron reduced benefits to students by approximately €5 a month directly and another €4.20 a month by calculating benefits differently.
Most students still have money left over each month – but not enough to live on. That lit the fuse that ended in the West’s most recent public immolation."