France considers introducing state of emergency after Paris riots

Riots in Paris on Saturday Dec. 1. 2018

Riots in Paris on Saturday Dec. 1. 2018

It is the third time in three weeks the demonstrators have taken their frustrations about escalating taxes, especially on gasoline, and the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron to the streets. Dozens more were wounded in other cities, such as Toulouse in southwestern France, where 57 people sustained injuries; five of them were hospitalized. At one point the security forces stormed the Arc de Triomphe itself, firing teargas to try and disperse people. He has vowed that those responsible for the violence and the damages will pay for their actions. He said he will hold an emergency government meeting Sunday on the protests.

Castaner also mentioned 200 peaceful protesters, called "yellow jackets" for the fluorescent vests they wear, on the Champs-Elysees.

A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot Saturday in the most popular tourist areas of the French capital.

Despite the violence, many protests continued peacefully, with some Gilets Jaunes blocking roads without incident, and others simply playing loud music on major roundabouts to make their presence felt. France's failure to quell the anger has led to copycat yellow jacket movements in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that Saturday's violent protests in the capital were having knock-on effects to the economy.

Protesters broke in to the entrance of the Arc de Triomphe, gaining access to the roof.

Police said Saturday's were made amid concerns violent far-right and far-left groups were infiltrating the "yellow vests" movement - a spontaneous rebellion against diesel tax hikes and high living costs.

An assault rifle was stolen from a police vehicle, a source told AFP, though it was unclear if it was loaded.

One person was in a critical condition after protesters pulled down one of the huge iron gates of the Tuileries garden by the Louvre, crushing several people.

French President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency meeting with top officials on Sunday just hours after returning from the G20 summit in Argentina.

They also set fire to cars and trash cans.

Riot police in Paris have fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon at fuel hike protesters who tried to breach security cordons on the Champs Elysees boulevard.

During Saturday's clashes, protesters wrote "Macron resign" at the Arc de Triomphe and the words, "the yellow vests will triumph" in French.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner attributed the violence to "specialists in inciting conflict and destruction".

While Macron is open to engaging in dialogue, Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the president would not change course on his policy positions. "I am prepared to examine everything".

Order appeared to have been restored late in the evening, although small groups were still at odds with police near the Champs Elysees.

Maas said "France is known for its special protest culture, and I think we're seeing that now, but from all that I hear and what is planned in the way of talks, we are confident that the situation there will calm down in the foreseeable future".

"Every month we end up 500 euros in the red".

The "yellow vests" have no links to political parties or trade unions but the CGT, which brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets to protest Macron's reform of the labour code previous year, said it shared their "legitimate anger".

The unrest poses the most formidable challenge yet to Macron's presidency, with the escalating violence and depth of public anger against his economic reforms catching the 40-year-old leader off guard and battling to regain control.

Despite the violence, opinion polls suggest the protests still attract the support of two in three French people.

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