French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped a fuel tax rise from next year’s budget amid fears of new violence after weeks of nationwide protests.

The move was announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who a day earlier had only promised to postpone them for six months.

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“The government is ready for dialogue and is showing it because this tax increase has been dropped from the 2019 budget bill,” Philippe told legislators on Wednesday.

The “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) protests have hit major cities over the past three weekends.

Further demonstrations are planned for this weekend.

They have grown to reflect more widespread anger at the government.

The “yellow vests” are so called because they have taken to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law.

Four people have died since the unrest began and the resulting violence and vandalism have been widely condemned.