Rising petrol costs in France spur protests

A nationwide movement known as the ‘yellow vest’ protests has sprung up in France against the increasing price of fuel.

Motorists across France staged blockades and demonstrations on Saturday over the price of petrol, which has risen as much as 20 percent since the start of 2018.

Although the price of oil is increasing across the globe, many in France blame the government for a series of so-called “green taxes” added to the price of fuel. The government imposed the green taxes in an attempt to lower air pollution, but protesters say the taxes unfairly punish people who need their cars. The grassroots protesters argued that big polluters like industry should be taxed, not those who may not have access to public transport.

The Macron government has also offered some financial incentives to buy electric cars, but among the protesters, the incentives are seen as a meagre offering from a government out of touch with the financial realities of the people’s daily lives.

Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler reports from Savigny-Le-Temple, east of Paris.