France considers ‘all choices’ to quell violent protests over gasoline worth hikes


Talking on France’s Europe 1 radio, spokesman Benjamin Griveaux mentioned the federal government is considering steps to forestall “critical outbursts of violence,” together with introducing a state of emergency.

Greater than 400 individuals have been arrested and 113 injured in Paris on Saturday in clashes between police and protesters with the “gilets jaune” or “yellow vest” motion, who’re protesting rising fuel costs and taxes on polluting types of transport.

An estimated 36,000 individuals demonstrated in Saturday’s protests throughout the nation Saturday, marking the third consecutive week of such demonstrations, in response to the French Inside Ministry. About 53,000 participated final week and about 113,000 the week earlier than.

Griveaux mentioned that between 1,000 and 1,500 individuals joined Saturday’s demonstrations “solely to combat with the police, to interrupt and loot.” He added that these protesters “don’t have anything to do with the yellow vests.”

Footage shared by French police on Saturday confirmed just a few demonstrators putting a police automobile and smashing its windshield. Different movies captured burning automobiles and police firing tear fuel to disperse protesters.

Protesters and riot police clash during the "yellow vest" protests in Paris on December 1.

French Inside Minister Christophe Castaner had talked about a state of emergency, Griveaux mentioned. French President Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister and the Inside Ministry have been scheduled to satisfy Sunday morning to “take inventory of what occurred yesterday and the measures we are able to take to keep away from it,” he mentioned. “There isn’t a method every weekend can turn into a ritual of violence.”

Tensions rising

Rising gasoline costs are largely attributed to a leap within the wholesale worth of oil worldwide.

However the protests have developed right into a broader demonstration towards Macron, his authorities, and tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor.

Demonstrators with the "gilets jaunes" or "yellow vest" movement call for the French President Emmanuel Macron to resign at a demonstration last month.

Macron has borne the brunt of the demonstrators’ anger as an alternative of OPEC for decreasing oil manufacturing, or the US for imposing tariffs on Iran, which crippled oil exports.

Many protesters are offended with Macron for extending the environmental insurance policies that have been first carried out by former President François Hollande.

The violent protests and vandalism in Paris have “completely nothing to do with the peaceable demonstrations of a professional unhappiness or discontent,” Macron mentioned on Saturday at a information convention in Buenos Aires, the place he was attending the G20 summit.

“No trigger justifies that safety forces are attacked, retailers pillaged, public or personal buildings set on hearth, pedestrians or journalists threatened or that the Arc de Triomphe is sullied,” Macron mentioned.

These accountable might be recognized and brought to courtroom, he added.

Upon his return to Paris on Sunday, Macron instantly visited the capital’s Arc de Triomphe — a flashpoint in Saturday’s violent protests — to “take inventory of the harm” and pay tribute to the tomb of the unknown soldier at its base, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

He additionally met with law enforcement officials and firefighters who labored to include the protests, BFMTV mentioned.

CNN’s Kara Fox contributed to this report.

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