French Government to Hike Fuel Tax Despite Massive Protests

French Government to Hike Fuel Tax Despite Massive Protests

On Sunday, French Interior Minister Cristophe Castaner said that over 400 people have suffered injuries in France in the protests against fuel prices hikes.

Although most of the blockades were being carried out without incidents, tempers flared at times as some drivers confronted the protesters or tried to force their way through.

Protesters took over the Place de la Concorde at the bottom of the avenue, shouting "Macron resign", in reference to President Emmanuel Macron, as police looked on. Officers have so far arrested 24 people, and 17 of them were taken into custody, according to the Interior Ministry, cited by BFM TV.

"This is what we were anxious about ... unorganised demonstrations by people who aren't necessarily used to such things", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in a statement.

Grassroots protesters, dubbing themselves "yellow jackets" for the safety jackets French motorists are required to keep in vehicles for emergencies, paralyzed traffic by blocking roads around the country Saturday.

Some demonstrators announced they meant to camp out overnight and might continue the protest into Sunday.

The driver, who police said was in a state of shock, was taken in for questioning.

The injured, 409 in total, included 28 police, paramilitary police or firefighters.


Protesters wearing yellow vests, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher fuel prices, attend a demonstration at the entrance of a shopping centre in Nantes, France, Sunday.

Protesters say he is neglecting the lower and middle classes, pointing to tax cuts for high earners and companies.

The protesters had pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts and other strategic traffic sites.

The fluorescent vests must be kept in the vehicles of all French drivers in case of auto trouble.

The rise in fuel taxes, notably for diesel fuel, spoke to citizens who feel the president has asked ordinary citizens to make the largest efforts in his bid to transform France. However, protesters and their supporters have voiced anger about other issues, too, including diminishing buying power.

Taxes on diesel fuel have gone up 7 euro cents (nearly 8 USA cents) and are to keep climbing in the coming years, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne has said.

Many drivers see it as emblematic of a presidency they view as disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties and serving the rich.

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