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Paris on High Alert as 'Yellow Vest' Protesters Create Havoc, Force City to Shut Down

The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, in scenes that shook the country and plunged President Emmanuel Macron's government into its deepest crisis so far.

AFP

Updated:December 8, 2018, 9:20 AM IST
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Paris on High Alert as 'Yellow Vest' Protesters Create Havoc, Force City to Shut Down
Protesters wearing yellow vests occupy a traffic island near the A2 Paris-Brussels motorway as part of the "yellow vests" movement in Fontaine-Notre-Dame, France, December 7, 2018. (Reuters photo)
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Paris: Paris was on high alert on Saturday with major security measures in place ahead of fresh "yellow vest" protests which authorities fear could turn violent for a second weekend in a row. Shops, museums, metro stations and the Tour Eiffel were due to close, while top-flight football matches and music shows were cancelled.

The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, in scenes that shook the country and plunged President Emmanuel Macron's government into its deepest crisis so far.

France's interior minister Christophe Castaner said he expected "only a few thousand people" to descend on the capital after the 8,000 protesters counted last weekend, "but among them are ultraviolent individuals". "These past three weeks have seen the birth of a monster that has escaped its creators," he said, adding that a "large-scale" security operation would be launched Saturday.

He vowed "zero tolerance" towards those aiming to wreak further destruction and mayhem, after dozens of vehicles were torched, shops looted and the Arc de Triomphe war memorial was wrecked last Saturday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday evening met a delegation of self-described "moderate" yellow vests who have urged people not to join the protests.

After the meeting a movement spokesman, Christophe Chalencon, said the premier had "listened to us and promised to take our demands to the president".
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