France: Fuel price hike suspension on the horizon amidst yellow vest protests

Paris: In a resounding victory for a people’s movement in the land where ‘liberty, equality, and fraternity’ is the nation’s motto, a suspension in fuel price hikes is on the horizon as French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe is expected to announce a moratorium on Tuesday on fuel price hikes.

The ‘yellow vest’ protests have been raging in France since mid-November against the rising costs of fuel in the country, with protests turning violent in Paris”>Paris on Sunday. Dozens of people have been detained so far, while scores have been injured in the clashes, including law enforcement officials.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who had earlier slammed the protestors for unleashing violence and bringing life to a standstill in the country, extended an olive branch later by requesting political leaders to meet with the organisers of the protests this week to contain the aggravating situation. The Macron-led government had also mulled the imposition of an emergency in the state to hold back the violence.

Around 36,000 people took to the streets on Sunday to protest against the increase in fuel prices, according to CNN. Iconic landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe in the French capital were defaced with graffiti during the protests.

On Monday, students showed their support for the ‘yellow vests’ by blocking the entrance to over a hundred schools across France in protests against education reform that came into effect in September.

Since January, diesel prices have increased by around 23 per cent, while petrol is retailed at 15 per cent higher costs. The prices are expected to rise further next month if the moratorium is not announced, as further hikes are scheduled to come into effect on January 1.