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French 'yellow vests' rail against unrepentant Macron, tear gas in Paris

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Washington, DC, USA Jan 05, 2019, 09.58 PM (IST)

French yellow vest protesters marched through Paris and other cities on Saturday in protest against high living costs and the perceived indifference of President Emmanuel Macron, whose government this week hardened its stance against them.

The street protests began peacefully in the French capital but degenerated later in the afternoon as protesters hurled missiles at riot police barricading bridges over the Seine river and torched garbage bins on the glitzy Boulevard Saint Germain.

Officers fired tear gas to prevent hundreds of demonstrators crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly. One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman wounded when he was struck by a bicycle hurled from a street above the riverbank.

Driving the unrest is anger among workers and the lower-middle class over the squeeze on household incomes and a belief that Macron is deaf to citizens' needs as he enacts reforms seen as favouring the wealthy.

Story highlights

The street protests began peacefully in the French capital but degenerated later in the afternoon as protesters hurled missiles at riot police barricading bridges over the Seine river and torched garbage bins on the glitzy Boulevard Saint Germain.