WORLD French PM plans new security measures after Champs Elysees rioting


French PM plans new security measures after Champs Elysees rioting


04:43, March 19, 2019


(Photo: AP)

France's prime minister will present plans on Monday to crack down on rioters, his office said, after a new round of violence linked to the yellow vest protest movement.

Rioters ransacked stores and restaurants while lighting fires along Paris' Champs Elysees avenue on Saturday as they clashed with police.

Cutting short a weekend ski trip, President Emmanuel Macron returned to Paris late on Saturday for a crisis meeting with ministers at which he ordered decisions to be taken rapidly "so this doesn't happen again."

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's office said the latest violence showed current security arrangements were "insufficient."

"Drawing conclusions from these shortcomings, the prime minister will present the president tomorrow with measures necessary to adapt the security forces stance so they can act with firmness at any time," it said in a statement.

Cleaners swept up broken glass, while shop owners boarded up smashed windows on Sunday after the worst unrest in central Paris since violence peaked before Christmas in a weekly series of protests.

Vandals left hardly a storefront or cafe unscathed on Saturday, breaking windows and looting luxury stores as they clashed with riot police.

Rioters also set fire to an upmarket handbag store and badly damaged Fouquet's restaurant before setting fire to the famous brasserie's canvas awning.

"I'm not a tourist but if I were, I would be quite surprised if I arrived in Paris to find the Champs Elysees in such condition," said a pensioner.

Police estimated that 10,000 people joined the latest yellow vest protest in Paris and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said about 1,500 people were intent on causing trouble.

"We've got to be able to stop these people, I don't know how, but that's what we've asked the prime minister," said Jean-Noel Rheinhardt, who heads a committee representing businesses on the Champs Elysees.

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