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Protesters Vow to Bring France to a Standstill over Fuel Tax Hikes

Protesters Vow to Bring France to a Standstill over Fuel Tax Hikes

PARIS (AFP) — French drivers seething over high fuel prices have vowed to snarl traffic across the country Saturday in a widely supported protest that could prove the trickiest so far for President Emmanuel Macron.

“Nobody thinks about the people on the city fringes, in the provinces, in rural areas,” said Priscillia Ludosky, a business manager in a Paris suburb who launched an online petition last May which now has more than 850,000 signatures.

A poll by the Elabe institute this week found that 73 percent of respondents backed the “yellow vests”, and 70 percent wanted the government to rescind the fuel tax hikes, which are slated to continue through 2022.

“Even 54 percent of people who voted for Macron support this movement,” said Vincent Thibault, Elabe’s senior research director.

Around 1,500 protests are expected across France, aiming to thwart access to city centres, create gridlock on major roads and highways, and block access to airports.

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