1 dead, dozens injured in French fuel taxes protests

Roman Schwartz
November 17, 2018

Another woman driving a auto panicked when she encountered a roadblock and ran over a protester, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Saturday on live television.

The "yellow-vest" protests against petrol and diesel tax increases have also attracted voters who are dissatisfied more generally with Macron's economic reforms.

Some incidents occurred as drivers not taking part tried to get around the blockades, police sources said.

The demonstrators, part of a grassroots movement dubbed the "yellow vests", caused logjams on highways and blocked roundabouts as they railed against the fuel tax hikes introduced by President Emmanuel Macron.

At least 47 others have been injured in protests, three in a serious condition, with French police adding that 24 arrests have been made.

People block the traffic of Paris' landmark Avenue des Champs Elysees and place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile on November 17, 2018 in Paris.

Hall of Famer David Pearson passed away at 83
What people said about him :"David and I battled each other for wins, most of the time finishing first or second to each other". We moved a couple of hundred feet forward in the van and he said, "Here is where I want you to go back to the gas".

- "President of the rich" - The movement enjoys much broader support than other protests since Macron swept to power a year ago, with 73 percent of respondents backing the protests in an Elabe poll this week.

Protesters say the measures will disproportionally affect people who rely on their cars to commute to work.

According to the French Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 1,000 protests are now underway, in which 50,000 people are taking part across the country.

Opposition parties and labour unions have voiced support for the demonstration but most have not joined, wary of being seen alongside officials from the National Rally and other far-right groups. But, in an attempt to assuage protesters' concerns, the government last week announced it would offer energy subsidies and a grant of €4,000 ($4,600) for poorer families to replace older, less fuel-efficient vehicles.

In a TV interview this week, Macron admitted he had "not succeeded in reconciling the French with their leaders" and that "we have probably not given them enough consideration". French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said the tax on diesel will increase by 6.5 cents per liter in January 2019, while the tax on gasoline is set to increase by 2.9 cents.

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