Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

France hit by fifth day of road blocks as second death is confirmed

Share this article

France hit by fifth day of road blocks as second death is confirmed
Photo: AFP
11:56 CET+01:00
Road blocks were back in place in parts of France on Wednesday morning as the "yellow vest" anti-government protests continue for a fifth day. A second person was confirmed to have a died as a result of the road blocks.

LATEST

  • Road blocks back in place in parts of France for fifth consecutive day
  • A second person has died as a result of the protests
  • Authorities ban protesters from Place de la Concorde in Paris on Saturday
  • President Macron calls for dialogue
  • Up to date information on traffic is available HERE.

"Yellow vest" protesters set up barricades in parts of France once again on Wednesday, the fifth consecutive day of protests against rising fuel prices.

While the movement has been on the wane since Saturday when almost 300,000 people took part of operations that brought roads and motorways across the country to a standstill, hardcore groups of protesters were determined to carry on their struggle.

Early on Wednesday there were reports of around 10 road blocks or barrages filtrants - where protesters allow a small number of vehicles through at intervals - being set up in the Dordogne including on the bypass at Bergerac and roundabouts in Sarlat.

There are other reports of road blocks in Brittany, notably in Finistere and Morbihan.

There were also reports of dozens of vehicles being stranded throughout the night on the bridge on the A10 motorway between Saint-André-de-Cubzac and Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.

The company Vinci Autoroutes, which runs part of France's motorway network, reported 62 points of protest on or near its motorways with the A7, the A9 and the A64 the most affected. 

READ ALSO:

Near Bordeaux the A10 remained closed in both directions and authorities say the impact of road blocks is affecting traffic throughout the city.

This round-up from France INFO has the latest info on road blocks in your area.

Gendarmes have posted images of the motorway toll at Virsac which was ransacked and set ablaze by protesters on Monday night. 

France Bleu reported that families with children were among those caught up in the blockade and lorry drivers had to walk to nearby shops in order to get food to feed those blocked.

The numbers turning out to man the barricades have dropped steadily since Saturday with around 20,000 protesters taking part on Tuesday.

A 27-year-old motorcyclist became the second person to die as a result of the fuel protests. 

The young man was hit by a truck on Monday after the driver made a sudden turn in order to avoid a road block created by the 'yellow vests' in the south eastern Drome department.

After being transported to a hospital in the city of Valence, he died from his wounds on Tuesday.

Over 530 people have been injured since Saturday, including 17 seriously.

The government has blasted the radicalisation of the movement, which has been marred by violence as well as homophobic and racist incidents which have seen protesters clash with drivers.

President Emmanuel Macron has called for "dialogue" whilst authorities have told protesters they won't be allowed to stage a planned protest at Place de la Concorde in the heart of Paris on Saturday. The protest could be moved to another part of the capital.

On Tuesday the government took a tougher line with protesters by ordering police to clear away the road blocks. On Wednesday the interior ministry said road blockades at some 30 strategic sites had been cleared since Monday, including those set up at fuel depots.

While the movement shows signs of being on the wane, it remains unpredictable. Polls suggest three quarters of French people back the gilets jaunes, who are still without a clear leader or spokesperson.

As well as being a protest about the rising price of fuel, protesters have denounced their loss of spending power and a general rise in taxes that has hit them in the pocket.

The "yellow vest" movement, which began on social media and has won backing from opposition parties on both the left and right, accuses Macron of squeezing the less well-off while reducing taxes on the rich.

"It's about much more than fuel. They (the government) have left us with nothing," Dominique, a 50-year-old unemployed technician told AFP at a roadblock in the town of Martigues, near the southern city of Marseille.

Macron's government, which is trying to improve its environmental credentials, has vowed not to back down on trying to wean people off their cars through fuel taxes.

The government has unveiled a 500-million-euro package of measures to help low-income households, including energy subsidies and higher scrappage bonuses for the purchase of cleaner vehicles.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

‘No other place in Europe has such as high density of talent’

London has always had a certain allure that pulls in entrepreneurs from near and far. As one of the world’s most connected cities, a top financial centre and a multicultural melting pot, countless professionals from Europe and beyond are drawn to London like moths to a flame.