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France to step up security for next 'gilets jaunes' protest

France to step up security for next 'gilets jaunes' protest
By Pascale Davies with REUTERS
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France will deploy extra security personnel on Saturday for the latest round of protests from the 'gilets jaunes' movement. France's Prime Minister also suggested new measures for citizens on the lowest salaries.


France is stepping up its security ahead of a planned 'gilets jaunes' ('yellow vest') protest on Saturday.

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said 89,000 members of the security forces would be deployed across the country ahead of the demonstration, including 8,000 in Paris.

"We are facing people who are not here to protest but to smash and we want to have the means to not give them a free rein," Philippe told the TF1 television news programme.

Philippe added that about 10 armoured vehicles would also be used for the first time since 2005 when riots broke out in Paris.

The Prime Minister revised an earlier figure of 65,000 troops.

Meanwhile, authorities announced they will close museums and tourist sites and have urged shops to close on the Champs Elysees boulevard on Saturday, to prevent violent scenes. 

France has been rocked by three consecutive weekends of protests by the 'yellow vest' movement.

Last weekend's demonstrations saw monuments defaced, cars torched, and shops smashed in France's worst riots in decades.

The 'yellow vest' movement began online over moves to raise a fuel tax but have since snowballed into anger over the cost of living and policies that favour the rich.

Phillipe also said that he was open to new measures that would benefit France's lowest-paid workers.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced the fuel tax rise would be scrapped from next year's budget.

Meanwhile, France's Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said on Thursday the country would bring in a digital tax for tech giants such as Google and Apple if EU states cannot reach an agreement for the bloc next year.

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