French oil giant Total says fuel stations running dry due to protests

REUTERS
PARIS
Published 03.12.2018 13:15
Updated 03.12.2018 13:43

French oil giant Total on Monday said several dozen of its gasoline stations had run dry as a more than two-week-long protest over fuel tax hikes began to impact fuel reserves and distribution.

A Total spokesman said "yellow vest" protesters -- so-called because of the high-visibility jackets they wear and which must be carried in all vehicles in France -- were obstructing access to 11 fuel depots.

As a result of the unrest, some 75 fuel stations out of the company's 2,200-strong network across the country were empty because they could not receive supplies, the spokesman added.

In the Morbihan area of Brittany in western France, authorities were considering restricting the volumes that motorists could buy to prevent more fuel stations running out of petrol and diesel, a local official said.

Protesters have been blocking roads across France, impeding access to fuel depots, shopping malls and some airports. On Saturday, rioters transformed upscale Paris neighborhoods into battle zones.

On Saturday, street demonstrations turned violent in Paris. Police harshly intervened in protester groups, which included violent far-right and far-left activists, who refused to disperse from the city landmark Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees avenue.

Nearly 150 people were injured and more than 400 were arrested.

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