French government plans new security measures to crack on street vandals

French PM Edouard Philippe will present today plans to crack down on street rioters, after a new flare-up of violence linked to the yellow vest protest movement during the weekend, news wires reported. On Saturday, vandals ransacked stores and restaurants while lighting fires along Paris’ Champs Elysees avenue and clashed with police.

Cutting short his weekend vacation, President Emmanuel Macron returned to Paris late on Saturday for a crisis meeting with ministers at which he ordered decisions to be taken rapidly “so this doesn’t happen again”. PM’s office said the latest violence showed current security arrangements were “insufficient”.

“Drawing conclusions from these shortcomings, the prime minister will present the president tomorrow with measures necessary to adapt the security forces stance so they can act with firmness at any time,” it said in a statement.

On Saturday, hardly a storefront or cafe was left unscathed, with windows broken and luxury stores looted. Rioters also set fire to an upmarket handbag store and badly damaged Fouquet’s restaurant before setting fire to the famous brasserie’s canvas awning. Two newstands were burnt to their metallic frames and in a nearby street a bank branch was set on fire, badly damaging the building and apartments above it.

Police estimated that 10,000 people joined the latest yellow vest protest in Paris and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said a hard-core of about 1,500 was intent on causing trouble.

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