Macron urges dialogue amid protests, defends gas tax hikes

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is sticking to fuel tax hikes that have prompted nationwide protests but calling for “dialogue” to calm tensions.

In his first comments about the protests since more than a quarter million French drivers blocked roads Saturday, Macron acknowledged Tuesday that it’s “normal” that people are expressing frustration.

He said he’s trying to “change habits” by weaning the French off fossil fuels, “which is never simple.” He reiterated promises of subsidies for low-income households to buy cleaner cars or switch to cleaner home heating methods.

Speaking to students during a visit to Belgium, he didn’t comment on protest violence.

Scattered protests continued Tuesday on roads across France by drivers who dub themselves the “yellow jackets” for the neon vests they don during roadside emergencies.

Categories: International News