Woman killed, 47 injured during fuel tax protest, French officials say

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

French protester killed in accident at anti-fuel tax blockade

Drivers in France are protesting rising fuel taxes by blocking roads across the country.

At a blockade on a road in the southeastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when protesters surrounded her vehicle and she accelerated, hitting and killing a woman demonstrator, the French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in televised comments. In Troyes, southeast of Paris, about 100 people invaded the prefecture, the local representation of the state, damaging the inside, Interior Ministry officials said.

Protesters, wearing yellow safety vests and dubbing themselves the "yellow jackets", pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts and the bypass that rings Paris.

Eight of the 227 people injured were in serious condition, ministry officials said at an evening briefing, without providing details.

According to French media reports, the protesters knocked on the woman's auto as she tried to take her daughter to hospital Saturday local time.

Injuries were also reported in other areas as some drivers confronted protesters or tried to force their way through the blockades. It said 52 people were detained and 38 held for questioning.

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Police fired tear gas when a group moved into a street near the presidential palace.

The protesters have dubbed themselves the "yellow jackets" because they wear fluorescent vests that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of auto troubles.

Protesters took over the Place de la Concorde at the bottom of the avenue, shouting "Macron resign", in reference to President Emmanuel Macron, as police looked on.

In January the price of diesel is set to go up by seven cents a litre, and petrol by three cents.

Over 280,000 people took to streets across France on Saturday in over 2,000 separate demonstrations across the country over government plans to introduce a new gas tax.

The rise in fuel taxes is part of Macron's strategy to wean France off fossil fuels. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency that is disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties.

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"Macron is the president of the rich and not the poor".

These include more financial incentives to exchange old cars for cleaner ones as well as the number of French entitled to "energy cheques".

"I'm very disappointed. I really hope he's going to listen to us but I don't have a lot of hope for that".

Anger over the high fuel prices has resulted in Macron's popularity taking a hit over the recent months - from 39 percent in July to 21 percent in October.

"We've had enough of it".

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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