Paris braces for new round of violence amid widespread protests

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Paris riots continue despite fuel tax delay

On Tuesday, the government agreed to suspend the fuel tax rise for six months. On Tuesday night, he was jeered as he travelled to a regional government headquarters that was torched by protesters over the weekend.

Against so-called green taxes and a major squeeze in French workers' cost of living, the Yellow Jackets movement represents "a rejection of all things Macron", admitted the liberal US magazine Slate this week.

The rush of sweeteners to soothe public anger began with Philippe's climb-down on fuel tax hikes, the first major U-turn of Macron's presidency.

Demonstrators have blocked roads nationwide, playing havoc with traffic in the busy run-up to Christmas.

The French government signalled on Wednesday that it was prepared to make further concessions to "yellow vest" protesters, even raising a possible rollback on a controversial move to cut taxes for high earners previous year.

"This anger, you would have to be deaf and blind not to see it, nor hear it", Philippe said after more than a fortnight of demonstrations by so-called "yellow vest" protesters. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers the tax is no longer included in the 2019 budget. "I'm calling for responsibility".

The protests have no identifiable leadership and gained momentum via social media, encompassing a range of participants from the anarchist far left to the nationalist far right, and plenty of moderates in between.

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A protester wearing a yellow vest, the symbol of a French drivers" protest against higher diesel prices, poses with a sticker reading "Macron resign' as he and comrades occupy a roundabout in Gaillon, France, Thursday.

One of the frequent demands from the protesters, who are mostly from rural or small-town France, is a repeal of Macron's move a year ago to cut the ISF "fortune tax" which was previously levied on high-earners.

While Emmanuel Macron's government has abandoned a controversial fuel tax hike, thousands of protesters are still planning on marching on the presidential residence on Saturday. He also announced a freeze in electricity and natural gas prices until May.

But the policy, along with comments deemed insensitive to the working class, has prompted numerous ex-banker's critics to label him a "president of the rich".

Cleanup operations continue under the message, "The Yellow Vests will Triumph" written on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests and has largely remained in his palace.

"The important thing is that it can be applied as of 1 January", she said.

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"The demonstrations announced on Saturday 8 in Paris do not allow us to welcome visitors in safe conditions", Eiffel Tower's operator SETE said in a statement.

Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud warned against creating "chaos" which would "do nothing to resolve the problems" of workers.

Many stores were smashed and looted during the capital's worst rioting in decades, which saw more than 130 people injured and 412 people arrested.

Amid his domestic woes, Macron also saw his "friend" US President Donald Trump weigh in on Twitter, saying protesters were disavowing Macron's adherence to the 2015 Paris climate accord.

He has nonetheless called in police reinforcements, fearing more violence.

The farmers' grievances include financial charges on their operations, the head of the main agricultural union said.

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Paris Saint-Germain's home Ligue 1 football match against Montpellier on Saturday has already been called off, as has an electro music festival in the city centre.

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