Paris at­trac­tions set to close as protests loom

The Courier-Mail - - WORLD -

PARIS: Au­thor­i­ties in France are brac­ing for more ri­ots and vi­o­lence this week­end, and are hold­ing emer­gency meet­ings and de­ploy­ing tens of thou­sands of po­lice and se­cu­rity forces in readi­ness.

Mu­se­ums, the­atres and shops in Paris an­nounced they would close to­day as a pre­cau­tion – in­clud­ing the city’s land­mark Eiffel Tower.

Po­lice unions and city au­thor­i­ties met to for­mu­late strate­gies on how to han­dle to­day’s protests, which are go­ing ahead even though French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron has can­celled the fuel tax hike that un­leashed the un­rest.

On the other side of France’s volatile so­cial de­bate, dis­parate groups of pro­test­ers did the same thing, shar­ing their week­end plans on so­cial net­works and chat groups.

Prime Min­is­ter Edouard Philippe said the Gov­ern­ment would de­ploy 89,000 po­lice of­fi­cers across France (8000 in Paris alone) – up from 65,000 last week­end.

They will be equipped with a dozen ar­moured ve­hi­cles, a first in a French ur­ban area since 2005. Some “yel­low vest” pro­test­ers, French union of­fi­cials and prom­i­nent politi­cians across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, called for calm yes­ter­day af­ter the worst ri­ot­ing in Paris in decades last week­end.

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