Alarmed by weeks of violent protests, French government to suspend fuel tax rise

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French government has reportedly decided to suspend fuel tax rise, which has led to weeks of violent protests in the country. Quoting a government source, news agency Reuters reported that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was due to announce the suspension later on Tuesday.

fuel tax
Photo: AFP

The weekend had seen violent clashes in central Paris between police and protesters, leaving more than 200 injured. Cops had to resort to using water cannons to try to quell demonstrations by “yellow jacket” protesters.

An 80-year-old woman had died after being hit by a tear gas canister at her window during Saturday’s fuel protests in the French city of Marseille. The woman, who lived in an apartment near to where the protests were taking place, was hit in the face while closing the shutters, reported BBC.

The clashes came as thousands took part in a third weekend of ‘yellow vest’ protests which started from anger over fuel taxes but soon transformed into a broader anti-government movement. The angry mob sprayed graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe, torched at least one car, and broke through the metal fence of the Tuileries gardens, reported ITV News.

The country’s interior ministry said that more than 100,000 people took part in about 1,600 protests across France on Saturda. Most passed off peacefully – except in the capital, where 8,000 demonstrators gathered. Students in about 100 secondary schools across the country had also held demonstrations against educational and exam reforms.

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday assessed the damage at the Arc de Triomphe, the massive monument to France’s war dead at the top of the Champs-Elysees avenue, where rioters scrawled graffiti and ransacked the ticketing and reception areas.

Last month, President Macron had angrily tweeted slamming the protesters. His tweet had read, “Shame on those who attacked (officers). There is no place for violence in the [French] Republic.”

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