WATCH: Yellow vest' protesters keep up pressure on Macron, clash with police

2019-01-05 17:47

France's "yellow vest" protesters have taken to the streets in capital, Paris, and other cities for an eighth successive week of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered on Saturday along the capital's central Champs Elysees avenue, where around 15 police wagons were also deployed, the AFP news agency reported.

Local media reported that tear gas was fired nearby in a confrontation between protesters and police. 

Public broadcaster FranceInfo, meanwhile, reported gatherings ranging from dozens of people to more than 1200 in other towns and cities across the country.

Participation in the grassroots movement has fallen steadily since the start of the "yellow vest" protests in November, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in opposition to Macron's planned fuel tax hikes.

Macron's price rises, which had been set to take effect on January 1, were justified by the French leader as necessary to combat climate change and protect the environment.

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But Macron abandoned the proposal in response to the protests - named after fluorescent vests French motorists must keep in cars - and announced extra cash for minimum wage earners in addition to tax cuts for struggling pensioners.

The 41-year-old has also flagged further changes to the country's national unemployment and pension system.

On Friday, government spokeperson Benjamin Griveaux said Macron had told ministers they should be more radical in their attempt to reform the country and law and order must be restored.

Griveaux also denounced those still demonstrating as "agitators who want insurrection and, basically, to overthrow the government".

An opinion poll published on Thursday by French survey organisation Odoxa Dentsu indicated 55 percent public support for the continued protests, however.

The sometimes violent demonstrations have brought disruption and destruction to Paris and other major cities.

Read more on:    france
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