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Protesters Cripple France Over Macron’s Carbon Tax On Fuel

The Times

Protesters at roadblocks clashed with police and motorists for a second day yesterday as the revolt over President Macron’s fuel tax rises caused chaos across France.

A 63-year-old woman was killed on Saturday when she was hit by a car at a protest in the Alps.

The “yellow vest” demonstrators — named after the hi-vis jackets they have adopted as their emblem — promised to continue the disruption over the coming days and weeks.

Their warning raised the pressure on Mr Macron, who has swatted aside unions opposed to his reforms but is struggling to contain the rebellion that has crippled French highways.

He has been criticised for failing to foresee that his efforts to counter President Trump by putting the environment at the heart of his agenda would so exacerbate anger in provincial France.

The protest was intended at first to be a one-day event but spilt over into yesterday and now threatens to drag on further, to the alarm of ministers. On the Facebook groups that started the campaign, more than 10,000 people have said they will take part in another protest in Paris next Saturday. The more radical demonstrators have demanded that the president dissolve the National Assembly and call a snap general election.

In Saint-Quentin in northern France, a protester was taken to hospital with serious injuries after a motorist tried to drive through a roadblock. In Nancy, in the east, and Caen in Normandy, riot police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who had refused to put an end to roadblocks. Protesters also turned out at Disneyland Paris, forcing staff to open the gates to the car park, which usually costs €30 a day, and allow visitors in free.

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