PARIS: France’s prime minister is promising “exceptional” security measures for protests planned in Paris and around the country Saturday, amid fears that radicals and troublemakers will take advantage of the moment to seed chaos.
Speaking Thursday to lawmakers, Edouard Philippe said the government is taking “all measures necessary” to secure the protests, bringing in additional security officers to bolster the 65,000 forces already in place around the country.
He urged “yellow vest” protesters to stay home for their own protection from those who could hijack the protests, after demonstrations in Paris last Saturday degenerated into rioting and looting. He also praised union leaders and local officials who are joining the government’s call for calm.
His government deeply damaged by weeks of protests and looking grave, Philippe acknowledged that the government’s dramatic concession this week over the fuel tax rise that sparked the protest movement “doesn’t respond” to all the protesters’ concerns.
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