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Cleanup begins in Paris after Yellow Vest protest violence

Cleanup begins in Paris after Yellow Vest protest violence
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By Robert Hackwill
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President Macron condemns protesters and heaps shame on those who would use violence against the police and elected representatives.

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One of the world's great avenues looked like a war zone on Sunday after a night of rioting between French police and protesters on the Champs Elysee in Paris.

A march against fuel price rises and the general cost of living turned violent, and locals are not impressed.

"I can see there's a lot of damage, lots of shopfronts broken or burnt. And it's all happening when there are lots of tourists, people coming into Paris to shop, keeping the shops going, keeping the country going," said one elderly man.

President Macron tweeted his disgust at the violence, which led to 44 arrests and 19 injured, four of them police officers.

The march was billed as a peaceful protest, and there are allegations the far-right infiltrated the crowd looking for a fight.

However, many present said they had no political affiliations, and deplored the violence while at the same time criticising the police response, which involved tear gas and water cannon.

"All these French people who haven't been heard during all these years, I think it is time to listen to them with kindness, respect and consideration," said the French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Macron is due to make a big speech on Tuesday outlining his vision for France's environmental energy transition, of which the fuel price rises are a part.

While the government says it is listening to people's complaints it does not appear ready to change course.

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