French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned violence by protesters at demonstrations against rising fuel taxes and his government.
Macron said in a strongly worded tweet: “Shame on those who attacked (police). Shame on those who were violent against other citizens ... No place for this violence in the Republic.”
At least 20 people were hurt in the protests, including one with more serious injuries. Dozens of people have been arrested.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has accused the far right of encouraging acts of violence and clashes with police in Paris.
Marine Le Pen, the head of the National Assembly party, called on protesters to head to the Champs-Elysees earlier this week despite authorities banning all demonstrations on the avenue.
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Castaner’s comments came as French police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse angry demonstrators in Paris, as protests and road blockades, led by drivers opposing rising fuel taxes and Emmanuel Macron’s presidency, swept the nation.
Castaner said that 5,000 protesters flooded the Champs-Elysees alone, with 23,000 protesters in total nationwide.
But Castaner told journalists in Paris that the protest was “weakening,”