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France Fuel accident: “Shame” on violent protesters, says Macron

Media Playback Not Supported on Your Device Media Letter Tear Gas and Water Gun Fired on Protestants from Police Police…

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Media Letter Tear Gas and Water Gun Fired on Protestants from Police Police in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron has thrown on protesters colliding with the Paris police in recent protests due to rising fuel prices.

“Shame on those who attacked” officer, tweeted . “There is no place for violence in the [French] Republic.”

On Saturday there was chaos on the Champs-Elysées, when the police used tear gas and water cannon to spread protests.

The demonstrations were billed by “yellow west” movement as “acting two” in a campaign that began a week ago.

Named according to their high visibility clothing features, the protests initially focused on an increase in a fuel charge on diesel.

They later grew to reflect anger on rising living costs, especially in rural areas and other misconduct against President Macron’s policy.

More than 100,000 people participated in about 1600 protests across France on Saturday, said the Interior Ministry. Most passed peacefully – except in the capital, where 8000 protesters gathered.

What happened to the Champs Elysees?

Five thousand police officers had been deployed in Paris. They had set metal barriers around the Champs Elysées to stop demonstrators from reaching important buildings such as the Presidential Office and the National Assembly.

A spokesman for the protesters insisted that they were peaceful. “We are not here to choose a fight with police, we just want the government to listen to us,” said Laetitia Dewalle to AFP’s press office.

But in the morning they tried to break through the police band. They lit fires, tore down streets, built barricades, pulled stone cuttings and threw them on the police while shouting the slogan against Macron.

The chaos continued until the evening when the police cleaned most of the area.

Image copyright
AFP

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Protesters gathered on the Champs Elysees many demanding Macron’s departure

Officials say 19 people were injured in the conflicts, including four officers. Forty people were arrested.

What about unrest elsewhere in France?

Demonstration took place around the country. Roadblocks were set up to slow down traffic. Some motorways were taken over to let vehicles come through.

There were a number of minor collisions. A total of 130 arrests were made.

The protests and violence were on a much smaller scale than the previous week. Last Saturday more than 280,000 people participated, two people were killed and more than 600 people were injured.

Image copyright
Reuters

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Barricades still burned in the evening

How did Macron and his government react?

In its tweet, the president expressed the security forces for “their courage and their professionalism”.

He added: “Shame on those who attack them. Shame on those who attacked other citizens and journalists.”

French state media reported that several reporters had been attacked in the southern cities of Toulouse and Béziers.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner accused the protesters of being influenced by the leader of the right-wing national rally party, Marine Le Pen. But she accused him of dishonesty on Twitter.

Why are drivers on the trolley?

The price of diesel fuel, the most common fuel in French cars, has risen by approximately 23% in the last 12 months to an average of 1.51 SEK per liter, the highest point since the beginning of the 2000s. AFP reports.

The world oil price began to fall back, but the Macro government increased its hydrocarbon tax this year by 7.6 cents per liter on diesel and 3.9 cents on gasoline, as part of a campaign for cleaner cars and fuel.

The decision to introduce a further increase of 6.5 cents on diesel and 2.9 cents on gasoline on January 1, 2019 was considered the final straw.

The president has blamed the world oil price for three quarters of the price increase. He also said that more tax on fossil fuels was needed to fund investments in renewable energy.

Not only about fuel

Analysis of Lucy Williamson, BBC News, Paris

The spark of the protest is clear, but it is not so much that unites the “yellow wests” beyond their high visibility equipment and their anger on rising taxes and living expenses.

In a country where protests are often tightly handled by a political party or union, a movement without recognized national leaders, no formal structure or association, joining voters of all ages, from left to right, even those who once supported the president Macron.

Their new collaboration is a sign that Macron has failed to restore his faith in politicians, and that the deep divisions remain. This is not France’s most marginalized citizen, but those who say that they are struggling, even when they work, who feel that they are wearing British France’s economic problems, while businesses and wealthy people get tax breaks.

The government has become the highest band of violence in Paris, but there are many peaceful citizens – both in the barricades and at home – who also support the movement.

Its diversity and democracy have so far been strength, but also make its ultimate vision unclear, and its membership is difficult to control.

Why wear yellow vests?

All drivers in France must wear the jackets in their cars as part of safety equipment for use in a breakdown.

Together with the familiar red-reflecting triangle that has to be placed behind a broken vehicle on the side of a road, the high-quality jacket or gilet jaune must be used by the driver outside the car.

Failure to wear the jacket after a breakdown or accident may result in a € 135 (£ 120; $ 153) fine according to a law introduced in 2008.

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