Macron Administration Warns of ‘Great Violence’ in Paris From ‘Yellow Vests’

The Latest Macron visits building torched by protesters

Yet, five days after the worst rioting central Paris has seen since 1968, all signs are that the government has failed to quell the revolt.

Scores of protesting teens clashed with police at a high school west of Paris on Thursday, according to French news reports, as part of nationwide student protests over new university admissions procedures and rising administrative fees.

On Wednesday, Mr Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike.

The French government quietly fears a Trump-led backlash against the accord could spread to other major economies whose commitment is essential to keeping the deal together.

Tax hikes on fuel and pensions, seen by the protesters as fleecing the working and middle classes to fund tax breaks for the rich, coupled with a series of remarks seen as scornful of the poor, have hardened feelings towards him. Rampaging groups last weekend threw cobblestones through Paris storefronts and looted valuables in some of the city's richest neighbourhoods.

The backpedaling by President Emmanuel Macron's government appeared created to calm the nation three days after the worst unrest on the streets of Paris in decades.

Labour unions joined the protests, some of which turned violent.

Last Saturday, the worst rioting in Paris in decades broke out, with rioters burning cars and looting stores on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees boulevard.

The Eiffel Tower said it would stay shut Saturday, and both the Garnier and Bastille opera houses have cancelled performances scheduled for Saturday. France's prime minister is promising "exceptional" security measures in Paris and around the country Saturday amid fears that radicals and troublemakers will take advantage of the moment to seed chaos.




On Tuesday, his centrist government caved in and surrendered to the rioters, announcing a six-month suspension of the fuel tax increase - but not a scuttling of it - in response to the violent protests, which are now in their third week.

'I would say that 80 per cent of the dressing room were doing whatever they wanted to do and that is not a position any manager wants to be in. As mayor of the northern port of Le Havre he said he had felt local anger rise every year, after every election. Hundreds of students were arrested after clashes with riot police.

Authorities are concerned that far-right and far-left agitators are hijacking the protests to incite further violence.

"What we are asking of you Mr Prime Minister, is not a postponement".

The Arc de Triomphe remains closed since last weekend's protest damaged the monument, while two music festivals have also been postponed. They include those between Paris and Montpellier, Monaco and Nice, Toulouse and Lyon, and Saint-Etienne and Marseille.

The "yellow vest" protests have blocked highways and fuel depots around the country, causing headaches for businesses and fuel shortages in some regions.

The rioting in Paris has anxious tourists, prompted the cancellation of four French league soccer matches this weekend around the country, and damaged the local economy at the height of the holiday shopping season.

Among them were a minimum pension, widespread changes to the tax system, and a reduction in the retirement age.

Other groups, bolstered by the success of the national movement, have also begun separate actions. The transport minister met Thursday with truckers' unions, but they maintained their plans to go on strike Sunday over overtime bonuses. Drivers have been affected by changes to overtime payments, the unions say, which affect the purchasing power of its members.

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