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Yellow-vest protesters blocking access to some fuel depots in France

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MARSEILLE :  Yellow-vest protesters are blocking access to 11 of Total's fuel depots in France and fuel stations are beginning to run dry, a company spokesman said yesterday.

Seventy five of the company's 2,200 petrol stations were out of fuel, the spokesman said.

The protests also spread to around 100 schools nationwide, which were partially or totally blocked by teenagers piggybacking on the demonstrations to air frustration over new university entrance requirements.

Around 1,000 students - some clad in the high-visibility vests that have become the emblem of the movement - shouted "Macron resign" as they demonstrated in the city of Nice yesterday.

The French government has no plans currently to impose a state of emergency over the protests which caused chaos and destruction in Paris over the weekend, junior interior minister Laurent Nunez said yesterday.

"It's one option among others, but for now it's not on the table," Mr Nunez told RTL radio, after calls by several police unions for expanded powers to contain the demonstrations.

States of emergency were imposed after nationwide riots in 2005 by youths in poor suburbs, and after the attacks in Paris in November 2015.

Many of the provisions, including expanded ID checks and restrictions on public gatherings, were incorporated into a new security law pushed through by President Emmanuel Macron when the emergency measures were lifted last year.

France's prime minister also held talks with opposition party leaders yesterday as Mr Macron sought a way to defuse nationwide protests over high living costs that led to widespread rioting and vandalism in Paris at the weekend.- REUTERS, AFP

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