Macron scraps fuel tax increase as panicked Elysée warns of thousands of yellow vest protesters coming to ‘smash and kill”

President Emmanuel Macron of France is to totally scrap fuel tax rises that sparked three weeks of unrest and the worst riots seen in Paris for half a century, as the Elysée last night warned that “several thousand” hardened protesters were bent on descending on Paris on Saturday “to smash and kill”.

However, in a decision that risked further fuelling the “yellow vest” revolt, Mr Macron ruled out reversing a landmark decision to scrap a wealth tax that has seen him dubbed by critics “the president of the rich”.

In a sign of rising panic at the pinnacle of the French state, the presidency issued a hasty evening announcement that the government would scrap a “green tax” on diesel and petrol due to be imposed in the 2019 budget.