French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to stand firm against "thugs" who have carried out countrywide protests over a recently-introduced fuel tax.
In a speech Tuesday, Macron vowed that violence would not force him to back down over his government's energy policy that has caused upset and division across France.
"I do not confuse citizens and their demands with thugs," Macron said during the televised speech in which he announced new climate and energy policy measures.
In a translation provided by Reuters, Macron added: "I will not concede anything to those who want destruction and disorder."
For nearly two weeks, thousands of protestors have blocked roads and caused huge traffic jams to vent their frustration over taxes on both diesel and petrol that were introduced in 2017.
The Interior Ministry said on Thursday that the unrest had left two dead and 606 injured in France. The authorities attempted to quell the protests using water cannons and tear gas. More than one hundred people have been arrested.