Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   22 May

Total says fuel stations running dry due to 'yellow vest' protests

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 3, ARMENPRESS. Total on Monday said several dozen of its gas stations in France had run dry as a more than two-week long protest over fuel tax hikes began to impact fuel reserves and distribution, Reuters reports.

Total S.A. is French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the seven "Supermajor" oil companies in the world.

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.

Protesters have been blocking roads across France, impeding access to fuel depots, shopping malls and some airports

The Yellow Vests demonstrators in France have demanded the resignation of the government and the appointment of Army General Pierre de Villiers, a former Chief of the Defense Staff, as prime minister.

The protesters said that the general has a reputation and he needs to lead the government.

Villiers, who led the Defense Staff from 2014 to 2017, stepped down on 19 July 2017 due to disagreements with President Emmanuel Macron, mainly due to cuts in military budget.

At that time, numerous politicians criticized Macron because the general had a very high approval rating both among the society and the political arena.

Protesters angry about rising fuel taxes clashed with French police for a third straight weekend and scores were arrested after demonstrators, known as the Yellow Vests, built barricades in central Paris, lit fires and threw rocks at officers Saturday, France24 reported.

Approximately 75,000 protesters took to the streets across the country in the weekend, the French interior ministry said.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe earlier said that 378 protesters have been arrested in Paris.

He said that around 1500 people were demonstrating around the Champs-Elysees Avenue. Protesters piled up various kinds of materials in the middle of a street near the Arc de Triomphe and set the debirs on fire, according to France24.

More than 130 people, including 23 police officers, have been injured.

Authorities have deployed thousands of backup police forces into Paris.

"We are in a state of insurrection, I've never seen anything like it," said Jeanne d'Hauteserre, the mayor of Paris' 8th district, near the Arc de Triomphe, according to France24.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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