Government to suspend fuel tax reports say

Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) protesters block the road leading to the Frontignan oil depot in the south of France, as they demonstrate  against the rise in fuel prices and the cost of living on December 3, 2018. 

PASCAL GUYOT | AFP | Getty Images

Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) protesters block the road leading to the Frontignan oil depot in the south of France, as they demonstrate against the rise in fuel prices and the cost of living on December 3, 2018. 

The French government is reportedly ready to suspend a controversial rise in fuel tax that has caused widespread protests throughout the country and dramatic scenes of violence and civil unrest.

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Leaders from the “Yellow Vest” movement, so-called because of the high visibility jackets worn by demonstrators, have reportedly refused to meet Philippe on Tuesday for talks on how to diffuse opposition to planned fuel tax increases.

Initial protests in previous weeks have now morphed into wider anger at a perceived drop in living standards, price rises and anti-government sentiment, particularly leveled at French President Emmanuel Macron who is seen by many as representative of the elite and wealthy.

Protests have turned increasingly dramatic and often violent. Saturday’s protests in Paris were the worst to date with stores looted, cars torched and buildings and monuments damaged by some protesters.

The riots have been described as the “worst in a generation” and “pre-revolutionary.” Three people have reportedly died as a result of the unrest, hundreds have been injured and hundreds arrested.

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