France considers state of emergency to prevent riots recurring

Dozens of cars were torched by the gangs of rioters

Under heavy security, the French leader spoke with police and firefighters on one of the avenues near the Champs Elysees boulevard, with some bystanders cheering but more jeering him, including yellow-jacketed protesters chanting, "Macron, resign!"

He has vowed that those responsible for the violence will pay for their actions. "No cause justifies that authorities are attacked, that businesses are plundered, that passers-by or journalists are threatened or that the Arc du Triomphe is defiled".

Speaking from the G20 meeting in Argentina, Macron said he would "never accept violence".

Radical far-right and far-left activists were involved in the riots as well as a great number of "yellow vests", Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said on Sunday.

Germany and France have traditionally been the European Union's leading powers.

Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) protest against rising oil prices and living costs on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France.

While police battled protesters at the Arc de Triomphe, the rest of the avenue was largely empty with boarded up shops on what should have been a busy Christmas shopping weekend.

Paris police said 412 people were arrested on Saturday during the worst clashes for years in the capital and 378 were still in custody.

It was attended by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

The popular rebellion erupted out of nowhere on November 17 and has spread quickly via social media, with protesters blocking roads across France and impeding access to shopping malls, factories and some fuel depots.

Security officials were locked inside the Interior Ministry for crisis talks for several hours during the afternoon. "So for now, I'm on the streets for a peaceful demonstration, I don't support the thugs at all".

He told reporters that some sectors had reported sales declines of between 15 to 25% since the protests began. The Arc de Triomphe, a unifying national monument that houses the tomb of the unknown soldier, was defaced, and a bust of national symbol Marianne was smashed. They said they'd seen police allow protesters into confined areas and then not let them out after firing tear gas, and threatening to fire rubber bullets on peaceful protesters.

Nearly 190 fires were put out and six buildings were set alight
Nearly 190 fires were put out and six buildings were set alight

Many demonstrators in Paris said they felt the police provoked much of the fighting.

Macron's task now is also complicated by his own desire not to yield to France's street protests, which in the past have repeatedly forced his predecessors into U-turns.

"He has to come down off his pedestal", she said under cold rain on the Champs Elysees.

As more than 100 people prepared to appear in court over the worst clashes in central Paris in decades on Saturday, Macron's government was preparing its response.

The yellow vests get their name from the high-visibility jackets all motorists in France must carry in their vehicles.

Extremists on the left and right, anarchists and vandals have joined the demonstrations.

They were not necessarily hard-core political activists nor veterans of street violence: some of them however were ready to resort to violence to protest against government policies.

Across France, some 136,000 demonstrators, majority peaceful, were counted across the country on Saturday, according to interior ministry figures.

Although police managed to clear the square around the Arc de Triomphe toward midday, sporadic clashes spilled into nearby neighbourhoods, and hundreds of protesters later returned to the square. They marched on the famed avenue behind a big banner saying: "Macron, stop taking us for stupid people".

"Every month we end up 500 euros in the red".

At least 110 people, including about 20 police personnel, were injured.

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