Reports suggest that the French government is preparing to suspend fuel tax increases following violent protests against the measures.

News agency Reuters quoted sources who said that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was due to announce the suspension later on Tuesday.

The Guardian said that Philippe would be meeting cabinet ministers on Tuesday morning to agree to a response to the rioting by yellow vests.

President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace to deal with the crisis. If the suspension is announced, it would be Macron’s first significant U-turn on a major policy since taking power in 2017.

The “yellow vests” protests, which started on November 17, were focused on denouncing a squeeze on household spending brought about by Macron’s taxes on diesel, which he says are necessary to combat climate change and protect the environment.

However, they have since evolved into a bigger, general anti-Macron uprising, with many criticising the president for pursuing policies they claim favour the richest members of French society. The protesters have demanded Macron’s resignation.

Protests in Paris on Saturday turned particularly violent, with the Arc de Triomphe defaced and avenues off the capital’s Champs Elysees suffering damage.

The demonstrations have been given the “yellow vest” tag due to the fluorescent jackets kept in all vehicles in France, and the protests are estimated to have cost millions to the economy.