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French In­te­rior Minister Christophe Cas­taner said Fri­day that a three-week-old re­bel­lion over taxes had spawned “a mon­ster”, as Paris braces for fur­ther violent “yel­low vest” protests this week­end.

On the eve of a fourth set of demon­stra­tions in the cap­i­tal in as many weeks, Cas­taner vowed “zero tol­er­ance” to­wards those hop­ing to en­act a re­peat of last week­end’s de­struc­tion and may­hem.

“These past three weeks have seen the birth of a mon­ster that has es­caped its cre­ators,” a grave-look­ing Cas­taner told a press con­fer­ence.

“It’s time now for di­a­logue,” he urged.

Last Satur­day’s ri­ots in Paris, where the Arc de Tri­om­phe war me­mo­rial was sacked, dozens of cars torched and shops looted, were the worst in decades, plung­ing Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron’s gov­ern­ment into a deep cri­sis.

Shops around the fa­mous Champs-el­y­sees boule­vard, epi­cen­tre of last week’s bat­tle be­tween po­lice and pro­test­ers were bat­ten­ing down the hatches on Fri­day.

The sound of ham­mers and power tools rang out along the Grande Armee av­enue as shops boarded up win­dows and emp­tied their stock.

“We can’t take the risk,” said a man­ager at a Du­cati mo­tor­cy­cle deal­er­ship, as em­ploy­ees loaded lux­ury Ital­ian rac­ers onto trucks for safe­keep­ing.

Last week, the store was looted of 120,000 eu­ros’ ($136,000) worth of mer­chan­dise.

Lead­ing mu­se­ums and land­marks, in­clud­ing the Eif­fel Tower, Arc de Tri­om­phe, Lou­vre and Musee d’or­say, have also said they will re­main closed on Satur­day.

The US em­bassy is­sued a warn­ing to its cit­i­zens in Paris to “keep a low pro­file and avoid crowds”.


Three cars burn in bright orange flames as a masked pro­tester wear­ing the sig­na­ture yel­low vest stands in front of them

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