PARIS, Dec. 4 (CGTN) -- The French government suspended planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months after weeks of "yellow vest" protests.

"This anger, you would have to be deaf and blind not to see it, nor hear it," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, "No tax merits putting the unity of the nation in danger."

The prime minister announced the rollbacks on fuel taxes and electricity price increases in a rare televised address, indicating the first major U-turn by President Emmanuel Macron's administration in 18 months in office.

Planned tax increases on petrol and diesel on January 1 will be suspended for six months, while hikes in regulated electricity and gas prices will be frozen during the winter.

The measures will cost around two billion euros (2.3 billion U.S. dollars) but will be offset by corresponding spending cuts, according to a government source.

Earlier officials had hinted at a possible increase to the minimum wage, but Philippe made no such commitment.

The so-called “yellow vest” movement, which started on November 17 as a social-media protest group named for the high-visibility jackets all motorists in France carry in their cars, began with the aim of highlighting the squeeze on household spending brought about by Macron's taxes on fuel.

Across France, four people have been killed in accidents linked to the demonstrations and road blockades, and hundreds injured.

The timing of the tax U-turn is uncomfortable for Macron. It comes as governments meet in Poland to try to agree on measures to avert the most damaging consequences of global warming, an issue Macron has made a central part of his agenda. His carbon taxes were designed to address the issue.

Macron's office said he would not speak publicly about the violence "for the time being," though he met briefly with a protester at his office Tuesday.

He also visited local government offices in the central town of Puy-en-Velay which were torched during a protest last weekend and was booed upon leaving.