French protesters railing against Macron block roads

French protesters railing against Macron block roads

Thousands gathered on motorways across France on Saturday to protest against higher fuel taxes and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies, in a campaign of road blockades in which one protester was accidentally killed and dozens were injured, Reuters reports.

Dubbed the “yellow vests”, protesters took to motorway sliproads and tunnel entrances, causing major back-ups at some highway tolls and blocking access to airports, including in Toulouse.

The demonstrations, coordinated on social media, and born out of a backlash against rising fuel prices, are the latest confrontation between Macron and dissatisfied voters who view the former investment banker as out of touch with ordinary people.

At a blockade in the southeastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when protesters surrounded her car and she accelerated, hitting and killing a female demonstrator, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in televised comments.

The traffic back-ups and stoppages caused several other accidents and run-ins with frustrated drivers trying to get around them, and police said 17 people were in custody.

At least 47 people were injured across the country, including three seriously, according to the interior ministry, which by midday estimated that close to 125,000 demonstrators were taking part in Saturday’s protests.

Police said they had used tear gas to clear the entrance to a tunnel under the Mont-Blanc mountain in the Alps.

Demonstrators were also on the march in cities, including around the port of Marseille and down the Champs Elysees in Paris. Some sported slogans such as “give us back our purchasing power” on the back of high visibility vests, which the protesters have adopted to symbolize their revolt.

“There are just too many taxes in France,” said Veronique Lestrade, a demonstrator on the outskirts of Paris, who said her family was struggling to make ends meet.

In 18 months in power, Macron has seen off trade unions and street demonstrations as he loosened labor laws and overhauled the heavily indebted state rail operator SNCF in a bid to reboot the economy.

Derided by political opponents as “the president of the rich” for measures such as the end of a wealth tax, Macron’s popularity has dwindled to new lows of 21 percent.

Tax hikes on fuel and tobacco as well as an increase to a social welfare levy before other tax cuts came into force have left some voters feeling squeezed.

The diesel tax increases, designed to encourage drivers to switch to more environmentally-friendly cars, were approved in late 2017 but bit when oil prices surged in October, angering some in the provinces who rely on their cars to get to work.

Ministers announced funds last Wednesday to help motorists on the lowest incomes, even if Macron is standing firm on his fuel policy.

Prices have eased this month, although protesters on Saturday had other complaints too, as Macron’s next test at the ballot box in European parliamentary elections in May 2019 looms.

“I happily voted for Macron in 2017, but he’s really making fun of us,” said Dominique Jouvert, 63, a retired civil servant demonstrating in Lyon’s city center. “There’s no discussion to be had with him, no dialogue, he’s arrogant.

“What’s certain is that I won’t vote for him again.”

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Israel announces completion of high-tech barrier around Gaza
Israel announces completion of high-tech barrier around Gaza
Bank of Israel bought $4 bln of FX in Nov, hits $34 bln in 2021
Bank of Israel bought $4 bln of FX in Nov, hits $34 bln in 2021
Google Pay begins operating in Israel
Google Pay begins operating in Israel
Loading Bars
Latest
Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Games
704 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
France reports record daily COVID-19 count
U.S. Senate backs $650 million missile sale to Saudi Arabia
Mandatory vaccination should be a last resort, says WHO Europe chief
Bolsonaro dismisses vaccination requirement for entry into Brazil
Israel announces completion of high-tech barrier around Gaza
Northern Ireland reports first Omicron cases
Police officer killed in NW Pakistan's firing
Sweden to reintroduce many COVID-19 measures as cases rise
Armenia has no choice but to open Zangazur corridor - experts
Turkey, Qatar strengthen bilateral ties with 15 new deals
Georgian parliamentary delegation visits Washington
Chinese company plans to build a technopark and solar power plant in Uzbekistan
WHO donates 260k packs of intravenous solutions to Iran
Cost of cargo transported via trains up in Azerbaijan
International Court of Justice grants Azerbaijan's request for temporary measures against Armenia
Western media shows neutral approach to Azerbaijan’s Zangazur corridor - Head of Trend News Agency’s Foreign Projects Directorate
Azerbaijan donates 100,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 to Burkina Faso (PHOTO)
Information spread in Armenian media about killing of illegal militant on territory of Azerbaijan is baseless – MoD
Azerbaijani MFA comments on statement of Armenian foreign ministry
International Court of Justice urges Armenia to take urgent measures against groups and individuals making violent calls on ethnic grounds
International Court of Justice refused to secure Armenia's claim for immediate return of so-called POWs
Azerbaijan completes over half of construction of Barda-Aghdam highway
Azerbaijan building new high-speed road in Shusha city
Azerbaijan-Iran plan to build new bridge to increase traffic
Iran Securities and Exchange Organization focusing on strengthening Capital Market Stabilization Fund
Iran looks to expand agricultural ties with Romania
EIB, EBRD touch on Georgia’s economic growth
Price indexes of industrial, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange fall
Georgia shortens terms of COVID-19 booster vaccination
Azerbaijan shares data on 10M2021 oil exports to Vietnam
Uzbekistan shares stats on export of textile products for 10M2021
Kazakhstan's KMG talks project of new gas processing plant in Mangistau
Iran's Bahar Azadi gold coin price increases
Azerbaijan sees decrease in import of vehicles, spare parts over 10M2021
Volume of loaded/unloaded cargo in Iran’s Qeshm port up
Value of Azerbaijan's export to Turkmenistan up for 10M2021
Azerbaijan’s energy ministry opens tender to buy technical support services
Azerbaijan-Iran to take steps to increase trade turnover – Iranian ambassador
Shootout occurs on border between Azerbaijan and Iran - offender neutralized
Baku Int'l Sea Trade Port reveals details of dev’t strategy until 2035
First harvest gathered in mushroom greenhouse in Turkmenistan’s Mary region
Azerbaijan-Iran implementing agreements on joint cooperation – ambassador
Germany's next finance minister stresses price stability
SOFAZ shares estimates of budget revenues for 2022
Iran opens office for cargo barter with Pakistan
Number of legal entities restoring activity in Azerbaijan slightly increases in 11M2021
President Ilham Aliyev receives President for Exploration and Production of TotalEnergies (VIDEO)
Indian embassy in Baku holds webinar on electronic and computer hardware/software products (PHOTO)
Sport in Azerbaijan - integral part of state policy, deputy minister says
Bank of Israel bought $4 bln of FX in Nov, hits $34 bln in 2021
India's Rajnath Singh attends maiden 2+2 Dialogue with Russia
Less urgent need to rebuild stocks to weigh on coal demand
Omicron poses a major risk to global oil demand
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,530 more COVID-19 cases, 1,864 recoveries
Azerbaijan, Russia’s Astrakhan sign action program to develop co-op (PHOTO)
Georgia shares data on cigarettes turnover in 10M2021
President Ilham Aliyev signs order appointing new chairman of State Insurance Commerce Company
Georgia’s imports of fuel and lubricants from Kazakhstan plummet
EU health bodies recommend mix-and-match of COVID-19 vaccines
Georgian apple exports on rise
Number of taxpayers increases in Azerbaijan over 11M2021
Kazakhstan increases volume of production of crude oil and oil products
Kazakhstan shares data on coal production
Turkmenistan becomes top oil exporter to Georgia
Armenia should fulfill requirements of documents signed after Second Karabakh War – Turkish official
Google Pay begins operating in Israel
Volume of electricity production in Uzbekistan for 10M2021 unveiled
Azerbaijan records growth in cost of air cargo transport for 10M2021
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 7
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals amount of foreign currency sold via auction
Non-oil exports in Azerbaijan to reach record high – minister
Opening of Azerbaijan’s Zangazur corridor may reduce transportation time from China to Europe
Azerbaijan to auction several mineral deposits
Epsilon obtains industrial gas inflow from new well at field in Uzbekistan
bp to develop best barrels, make portfolio higher value, says CEO
Azerbaijani State Tourism Agency talks about prices for air tickets (Exclusive)
Iran’s IMPASCO aims to transfer shares of some mining complexes to private sector
bp going to invest 10 times more in low carbon by 2030 - Bernard Looney
What does gas swap deal between Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran promise?
Baku Stock Exchange talks priorities in trade turnover until 2023
Turkey, Iran trade turnover grows in October 2021
Georgia shares top importers of its hazelnuts
bp achieves increase in productivity in Azerbaijan with new agile organizational structure
Russia’s new daily coronavirus cases below 32,000 for first time since October 14
Iran pins big hopes on gas swap contract, aims for European exports in near future, says ambassador (Exclusive)
Turkmen agriculture ministry opens tender for purchase of veterinary vaccines
Iran eyes increase in flights via Rasht International Airport
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy pipes
Kazakhstan eyes diversifying trade flows with ECO countries
Azerbaijan’s Baku Int’l Sea Trade Port expects increase in flow of goods
Georgia’s spice exports to Central Asia down
Uzbekistan reveals volume of exports and imports for 10M2021
Volume of foreign trade turnover increases in Uzbekistan
Kazakhstan sees multifold decrease in trade with South Korea
Eurostat discloses Azerbaijan’s petroleum exports to Italy
Bank of Georgia to begin offering preferential agro-credit
Georgia’s export of spices remains steady - Geostat
All news