New round of yellow vests protests turns violent

Around 50,000 took the streets across France

About 50,000 yellow vests protesters took the streets across France against high living costs and President Macron's economic policies during the first Saturday of 2019. This number was announced by the French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. According to Reuters report the turnout was higher than last week but a small fraction of the numbers seen in the first weeks of the protests in mid-November. During the demonstration, eight in a row, rioters said the recent concession that the government made are not enough and that they are determined to continue the protests all year.

In Paris and multiple cities in the countryside, the demonstrations started peacefully on Saturday morning, but clashes with authorities broke out in the afternoon and in the evening. In the centre of the French capital protesters threw missiles at riot police blocking bridges over the Seine, set on fire cars, motorbikes, barricades.

Officers fired tear gas to prevent protesters crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly. One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman was wounded when he was hit by a bicycle hurled from a street above the river bank.

Facing record low popularity, Macron asserted that he will push ahead with his economic reforms.

Once again, extreme violence came to attack the Republic - its guardians, its representatives, its symbols, Macron tweeted pointing out that “those who commit these acts forget the core of our civic compact. Justice will be done.”

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