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LATEST: 'Yellow vest' road blocks continue in France as shops and businesses suffer

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LATEST: 'Yellow vest' road blocks continue in France as shops and businesses suffer
Photo: AFP
11:53 CET+01:00
There were road blocks in place in parts of France on Thursday for a sixth consecutive day. Even though the yellow vest movement is on the wane, shops, petrol stations and businesses in local areas are feeling the strain as supplies run short.

Hardcore yellow vest protesters in France are not willing to give up the fight just yet.

There were filtered road blocks back in place in parts of the country for a sixth consecutive day on Thursday as the wave of protests in France over fuel prices and low living standards spilt into neighbouring countries, causing disruption for truckers in Britain and Spain and leading to arrests in Belgium.

Several dozen people were detained at a fuel depot in Belgium near the French border overnight Wednesday-Thursday, while Spain slammed traffic jams on the border with its northern neighbour.

On Thursday road blocks were reported in Brittany with protesters taking to the roads at several points in Finistere and Morbihan.

There were reports that the A34 motorway was partly blocked between Reims and Charleville-Mezieres in the east.

There was also disruption on the A16 motorway towards the Channel Tunnel in Calais although the latest reports suggest French riot police had cleared the protesters and the autoroute was open to traffic.

In the south west near Bordeaux, which has been badly hit in recent days by a series of road blocks notably on the A10 near Virsac, the situation was easing on Thursday.

The Virsac autoroute toll station which was ransacked and set ablaze by protesters was back open on Thursday in the direction of Paris. However it remains closed in the direction of Bordeaux.

READ ALSO: Macron beware, the yellow vest rebels will not retreat easily

There were also reported road blocks on the Route Nationale 89 near Libourne, in the department of Creuse at the junction of the A20 and the Route Nationale 145, in Lot-et-Garonne on the A62 near Agen and in the Hautes-Pyrennees on the A64 near Tarbes.

But the regions of Normandy, Occitanie and Pays de la Loire were also all affected. CLICK HERE for more detailed info.

After six days of protests the impact of the roadblocks was beginning to tell on shops and businesses and in local areas.

Local shops are beginning to run out of food and are having difficulty with deliveries

Members of the public worried about being caught up in road blocks have avoided town centres and out of town shopping centres in recent days, which has hit takings hard.

Those shops and businesses are doubly hit because their supplies are not getting through.

Stephen Dargan who lives near Beziers in the Herault department said: "The actions of the gilets jaunes are beginning to bite.

"The one garage that still has fuel in our area and isn't blockaded (it's the small village garage) has an electrical problem affecting the pumps.

"The local shops are beginning to run out of food and are having difficulty with deliveries. The man who called to read my water meter this morning says he has enough fuel to get home tonight then he's on an unexpected holiday from tomorrow."

Stores, both big and large are reporting losses of between 20 percent and 70 percent in recent days. Supermarket bosses at Auchan and Intermarché have also lamented the loss of millions of euros after numerous stores were subject to blockades.

And as the yellow vests protest high fuel taxes, petrol and diesel supplies have been running out in local areas.

Members of the public caught up in road blocks have reported how they have struggled to find petrol to refill their tanks.

As a result many people were filling their tanks fearing they would be caught in road blocks which has led to a run on the pumps. Protesters blocking fuel depots has added to the problem.

The website Mon-essence reported that several petrol stations around the country had run dry while many others were running low on supplies.

The map below shows the latest on where petrol stations are running dry.

"Motorists are invited to show good citizenship and not to run stocks dry by rushing into the petrol stations,"sad the local authority in Ariège.

A big protest is still planned for Saturday in Paris despite authorities telling organisers they would not be able to hold the rally at Place de la Concorde.

The "yellow vest" movement -- named after the protesters' jackets -- represents a major challenge for Macron, a 40-year-old centrist who came to 
power in May 2017 promising to tackle high unemployment and cut taxes.

 

 

 

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