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A blockade of 11 fuel depots in France by “yellow vest” protesters has shut down 75 fuel stations and the situation might escalate further if the protests continue, Deutsche Welle reports, citing information from Total.
Already in Brittany, government officials have discussed rationing gas supplies to avoid a complete dry-up of fuel stations as the protests continue.
Over 280,000 people took to the roads and streets in France two weeks ago to protest higher prices at the pump caused by a higher taxes on fuels that are part of Emmanuel Macron’s government’s plan to fight the effects of climate change.
According to a Reuters report on the events at the time, the regular French drivers don’t seem as concerned with climate change as the government: a poll conducted in late November found that people in France preferred that the government focus on implementing policies that would help boost household income instead of fighting climate change.
Yesterday, the BBC reported that President Macron had called a cabinet meeting, but imposing a state of emergency had not been among the options discussed, despite certain instances of vandalism and violence that saw 400 arrested since the start of the protests. Three people have died and more than a hundred have been injured during the protests.
Yet a government spokesman said the state of emergency was an option amid clashes between protesters and the police. "We have to think about the measures that can be taken so that these incidents don't happen again," Benjamin Griveaux said.
Deutsche Welle says the protesters had demanded that the cabinet reverse its position on fuel taxes, but Macron has remained determined to continue on the set course.
"I understand the demands of these citizens, but I won't give in to those who want destruction and disorder," the French president said, after last week he stated "What I've taken from these last few days is that we shouldn't change course because it is the right one and necessary. We need to change how we work because a number of our citizens feel this policy course is imposed on them from above."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.