Clashes as yellow vest protests grow in Belgium and the Netherlands

In a speech to 60 world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe French President Emmanuel Macron eulogised the United Nations and declared nationalism the

In a speech to 60 world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe French President Emmanuel Macron eulogised the United Nations and declared nationalism the"betrayal of patriotism

Violent clashes took place between protesters and the authorities, large fires were set, and barricades were erected in Toulouse, while in Bordeaux protestors threw Molotov cocktails at riot police.

The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, in scenes that shook the country and plunged President Emmanuel Macron's government into its deepest crisis so far. "I can't let him live in a country where the poor are exploited", he told AFP. The national gendarme service posted a video on Twitter of police tackling a protester and confiscating his unsafe material, which appeared to be primarily a tennis racket.

Police barred some provincial "yellow vest" protesters from boarding trains to Paris in an effort to prevent a repeat of last week's rioting. More than 250 people have been arrested.

On the eve of a demonstration, "yellow vest" representatives advise against demonstrating in Paris where museums, monuments, big shops and many metro stations will be closed.

The riots are the latest in a wave of demonstrations against the high cost of living that have shaken President Emmanuel Macron's authority.

"According to the information we have, some radicalized and rebellious people will try to get mobilized tomorrow", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told a press conference on Friday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday evening met a delegation of self-described "moderate" yellow vests who have urged people not to join the protests.

Mr Macron, who has not spoken in public since he condemned last Saturday's disturbances while at the G20 summit in Argentina, will address the nation early next week, his office said.

Thirty-two people have been remanded in custody.

Department stores were also closed due to the risk of looting on what would normally be a busy shopping weekend less than three weeks before Christmas.

The US embassy issued a warning to Americans in Paris to "keep a low profile and avoid crowds", while Belgium, Portugal and the Czech Republic advised citizens to postpone any planned visits.

In a warning of impending violence, an MP for Macron's party, Benoit Potterie, received a bullet in the mail on Friday with the words: "Next time it will be between your eyes".

On Tuesday, Philippe announced the government would suspend planned fuel tax increases for at least six months to help defuse weeks of protests, marking the first U-turn by Macron's government since he came to power 18 months ago.

So, Trump's tweet hits the mark, but also paints a reductive picture of the Yellow Vests, who are not just aggrieved right-wingers angry that the government wants to take away their petrol cars. Some protesters called for support for a borderless European Union, while others demanded Frexit, or a French exit from the bloc.

Macron on Wednesday agreed to abandon the fuel tax increase, but the protesters' anger at his government has not abated.

But Macron's office has said he will stick to his decision to cut a "fortune tax" on high-earners, abolished previous year in a bid to boost investment.

High taxes in France have been the source of discontent and unrest among French residents.

Four people have died in accidents during the "yellow vest" protests and political leaders from across the spectrum have appealed for calm.

Parts of Paris looked as if they were bracing for a hurricane, with boards on windows covering up the Christmas decorations.

The "gilets jaunes" protesters are so-called because they have taken to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law.

"It's with an enormous sadness that we'll see our city partially brought to a halt, but your safety is our priority", Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said.

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