One dead and over 200 injured in fuel protests across France

Andrew Cummings
November 17, 2018

She accidentally struck and killed a woman in her 60s, the interior ministry said.

France was expecting a country-wide wave of protests Saturday.

Police at first held back protesters from advancing on Paris' Champs-Elysees, with police vans blocking them from moving down the famed avenue.

An investigation is under way into the death of a protester who was hit by a driver who apparently accelerated in panic while caught in a demonstration in the eastern Savoie region, according to a regional official. It said 52 people were detained and 38 held for questioning.


The demonstrators are trying to block motorways as well as access to fuel depots in a grassroots movement dubbed the "yellow vests" that began as a backlash against the higher fuel taxes introduced by President Emmanuel Macron.

Police said that three of the 47 injured in separate incidents at the protests are in serious condition, according to the ministry.

The protesters have dubbed themselves the "yellow jackets" because they wear fluorescent vests that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of auto troubles.

The protesters have dubbed themselves the "yellow jackets" because they wear fluorescent vests that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of auto troubles.


Police fired tear gas when a group moved into a street near the presidential palace.

Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency seen as disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties.

While President Macron puts three-quarters of the rise down to the increased cost of oil, protesters blame the president's anti-pollution policies and accuse him of disregarding the concerns of "the little people", with the tax hike hurting those in rural and suburban areas the most, affecting the metropolitan elites the least.

Anger over the high fuel prices has resulted in Macron's popularity taking a hit over the recent months - from 39 percent in July to 21 percent in October.


"We've had enough of it". 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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