French drivers blocking roads to protest rising fuel taxes

At least 47 others have been injured in protests, three in a serious condition, with French police adding that 24 arrests have been made.

At a blockade on a road in the southeastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when she saw protesters barring the way and accelerated, hitting and killing a woman demonstrator, Castaner and the local prefect said in televised comments.

French interior ministry officials say that one protester has been killed and 47 injured as demonstrators blocked roads around France to protest gas price increases.

According to French media reports, the protesters reportedly knocked on her vehicle as she tried to take her daughter to hospital.

Protesters pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts and the Paris orbital bypass on Saturday. However, protesters and their supporters have voiced anger about other issues, too, including diminishing buying power.

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The higher fuel taxes were approved in late 2017 but started to bite as oil prices surged in October, even though they have since eased off somewhat.

People block the traffic of Paris' landmark Avenue des Champs Elysees and place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile on November 17, 2018 in Paris. The government said it was prepared to send police to remove protesters and threatening fines.

The taxes they are angry about are part of President Emmanuel Macron's strategy to move France away from fossil fuels.

The fluorescent vests must be kept in the vehicles of all French drivers in case of auto trouble. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties and serving the rich.

The backlash is the latest confrontation between Mr Macron and voters, mostly based in the countryside and provincial towns and cities, who view the former investment banker as the representative of a remote urban elite.

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