This Saturday, protests by the “Yellow vests”, a group protesting over rising French fuel prices, are expected to cause gridlock on roads across France, according to various French newspapers. It is feared the effects could spillover into nearby Switzerland.
The group is voicing its anger over rising fuel prices, which have risen because of higher oil prices and rising fuel tax. Tax on diesel has risen sharply as the French government has moved towards taxing diesel at the same rate as petrol.
In 2013, the tax on French diesel was 42.84%. Currently it is 59.4%. Next year it will rise to 64.76%. The current tax on standard petrol is 68.29%, rising to 70.67% next year.
Some are also protesting over road tolls, the cost of car roadworthiness tests and the challenge of making ends meet.
The movement started in May 2018 when a 32 year-old cosmetics vender launched an online petition. It then grew rapidly via social media reaching millions and culminating in a call by a French truck driver on Facebook to block roads across the country on 17 November 2018.
Those supporting the movement have been instructed to place a luminous yellow vest on their car’s dashboard.
The map above shows areas of roadblock focus. Anyone in Montreux planning a trip to Evian on Saturday might want to think again. And residents of Geneva and Basel would be advised to check before venturing into the Saturday traffic.
Geneva airport has advised allowing more time to get to the airport.