tear gas fired hundreds arrested at yellow vest protests in paris
Last Updated : GMT 01:59:58
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Last Updated : GMT 01:59:58
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Tear gas fired, hundreds arrested at 'Yellow Vest' protests in Paris

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Arab Today, arab today Tear gas fired, hundreds arrested at 'Yellow Vest' protests in Paris

Police deployed tear gas to fight back the protesters
Paris - DPA

Several thousand "Yellow Vest" demonstrators descended on Paris on Saturday for another day of violent protests against rising fuel costs that led to scuffles with security forces.

Police deployed tear gas and water cannon to fight back the protesters at the Arc de Triomphe as they tried to break through barriers set up by authorities.

Cars and other city infrastructure were set on fire as the skirmishes with police moved into the side streets surrounding the famous Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard. Many shops and restaurants were damaged or entirely destroyed.

"We work just to pay taxes," one of the protesters told broadcaster BFMTV.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe estimated the number of protesters in Paris at about 5,500, while French media reported a total of approximately 75,000 people protested across the country Saturday.

More than 200 people were arrested, according to media reports.

In Paris, 65 people were injured, including 11 members of security forces.

French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the violence during a speech he held at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

"I will always accept protests, I will always listen to the opposition, but I will never accept violence," the French leader said.

Anyone who is that violent doesn't want change - only chaos, Macron said. Nothing justifies attacks on police, plundering or vandalism, he added.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests since mid-November against fuel tax hikes and reforms, which the government said were necessary to support environmental programmes.

On Tuesday, Macron promised a wide-ranging consultation process with protesters, who often wear yellow safety vests in a sign of solidarity with the movement.

But Friday, a representative of the "Yellow Vest" movement broke off a meeting with Philippe because the prime minister had refused to let the session be filmed and broadcast live.

The fuel tax protests have also spilled over into other European countries.

On Saturday, a small number of protesters were also on the streets in the Netherlands.

In Brussels, two police vehicles were burned on Friday near the European Commission office in protests.

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