France suspends fuel tax rise

Published: December 04, 2018 18:00:06 | Updated: December 06, 2018 12:17:33


France's PM has announced a six-month suspension of a fuel tax rise which has led to weeks of violent protests.

Edouard Philippe said the measures would not be applied before proper debate had taken place with those affected, reports BBC.

The protests have hit major French cities, causing considerable damage for the past three weekends.

The "gilets jaunes" (yellow vests) protests have now grown to reflect more widespread anger at the government.

Three people have died since the unrest began and the resulting violence and vandalism - notably when statues were smashed at the Arc de Triomphe last Saturday - have been widely condemned.

"Yellow vests" are so called because they have taken to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law.

The movement has grown via social media and has supporters across the political spectrum.

President Emmanuel Macron was elected two years ago with an overwhelming mandate for sweeping reform, but his popularity has fallen sharply in recent months.

Mr Macron has accused his political opponents of hijacking the movement in order to block the reforms.

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