Dead, Dozens Injured in French Fuel Taxes Protests

Protests against rising fuel and oil prices have already begun in France including in Nice southeastern France on November 15

At a blockade on a road in the south-eastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when protesters surrounded her vehicle and she accelerated, hitting and killing a female demonstrator, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in televised comments.

In the southeastern town of Pont-de-Beauvoisin, a female driver panicked when she saw protesters barring the road and accelerated, hitting and killing a woman in her 50s, Interior Minister Christophe Castener said. An investigation into how the protester died is underway, say French officials. Officials say 47 people were also injured during the protests.

A total of 124,000 people took part in 2,000 rallies across France, according to the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said security forces used tear gas in several places to unblock major routes, notably at the access road to the Mont Blanc tunnel where about 30 canisters were fired.

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In Paris, a group of some 50 protesters were yelling "Macron resign!" on the Champs Elysee, though police were stopping them from heading toward the nearby Elysee Palace, the president's residence.

The angry motorists" movement emerged in social networks; the "Yellow Jackets' are threatening to block roads throughout the country, demanding that the authorities reduce fuel taxes. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency seen as disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties.

The fluorescent yellow vests donned by the protesters must be kept in the vehicles of all French drivers in case of auto troubles.

- "President of the rich" - The movement enjoys much broader support than other protests since Macron swept to power previous year, with 73 percent of respondents backing the protests in an Elabe poll this week. And in a TV interview this week Macron admitted that he had "not succeeded in reconciling the French with their leaders" and "we have probably not given them enough consideration".

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