France's President Emmanuel Macron's Popularity Falls to 25 Percent

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In the eastern Savoie region a 63-year-old woman was killed when a mother trying to bring her daughter to the doctor panicked after protesters surrounded their auto, and suddenly accelerated into the crowd.

"There were fights among "yellow vest" protesters".

Although most of the blockades were being carried out without incidents, tempers flared at times as some drivers confronted the protesters or tried to force their way through.

The movement, named for the high-visibility jackets worn by protesters, erupted on social media last month with calls for mass blockades of roads and highways.

World oil prices did rise before falling back again but the Macron government raised its hydrocarbon tax this year by 7.6 cents per litre on diesel and 3.9 cents on petrol, as part of a campaign for cleaner cars and fuel.

Thousands of people gathered on motorways in a backlash against higher fuel taxes.

Three people were seriously injured and 44 others were slightly injured, ministry officials said.

A total of 117 people were arrested with 73 of them held for questioning.

Thirty-eight people were taken into custody. A police officer and a firefighter who intervened when protesters attacked a closed service station were among the eight.

Across France, an estimated 124,000 protesters targeted tollbooths, roundabouts and major roads, many wearing yellow jackets that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of breakdowns.

In Paris, a group of some 50 protesters were yelling "Macron resign!" on the Champs Elysee, though police were stopping them from heading toward the nearby Elysee Palace, the president's residence. They called themselves "yellow jackets" because most were wearing the fluorescent yellow vests that must be kept in vehicles of all French drivers in case of auto troubles. She accidentally struck and killed a woman in her 60s, the interior ministry said. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties and serving the rich.

The grassroots nature of the protests, which drew supporters angry over an array of issues, made it a political hot potato for Macron's government.

Robert Tichit, 67, a retiree, referred to the president as "King Macron".

In a TV interview this week, Macron admitted he had "not succeeded in reconciling the French with their leaders" and that "we have probably not given them enough consideration".

"There are many young people among us because we can't make ends meet anymore", said Emilie, a 27-year old temporary sales manager in Cavaillon in the south of the country.

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