Receive breaking news and special reports. The news and stories that mattered delivered the weekday mornings.
By Emmanuelle Saliba, Euronews, and Linda Givetash
Bruno Le Maire visits the entrepreneurs and walks past the destroyed windows of a bookstore brought to a halt the typical bustling city on Saturday after a riot day. The Minister of Finance told Euronews that these events would have a negative impact on the "attractiveness of France" for the economy.
The demonstrations, led by the so-called Yellow Jacket demonstrators, saw an estimated 10,000 people flood the otherwise deserted streets of Paris. Another 125,000 demonstrators march across the country, according to government officials. Over 1,300 people were arrested on Saturday and 135 were injured, including 17 police officers.
Weeks of demonstrations triggered by a planned gas tax hike follow and represent a general opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms.
19659010] "It is now up to every citizen to be aware that We must now return to peace and dialogue, "said Le Marie. "Because we will not find a long-term solution to this crisis without returning to the table and having a dialogue."
However, Macron is facing increasing criticism for not speaking publicly for more than a week, and all this deteriorates in violence. Le Maire said the president will make a statement in the coming days.
For some, this may not be too late.
"He says nothing and the country is on fire," Meredith Saban, 38, a director of human resources told NBC News during Saturday's protests. "He ridicules people."
Macron has witnessed demonstrations since his election in May 2017, but the "Yellow Jacket" protests pose a more fundamental challenge to his authority. Many people support the movement that demands his resignation.
A November poll showed that only 26 percent of French people have a positive opinion of their president.
The young centrist was elected to the reformist agenda after pledging to revise the country's generous welfare state, and wealth throughout society spreads high taxes on the rich.
France has a high level of social security and workers' rights, which makes it difficult to carry out business-friendly reforms despite continuing unemployment. Despite the fanaticism surrounding his election, Macron has since had difficulty passing laws in his national program.
Last week, he tried to quell the recent turmoil by persuading himself to reduce the gas tax hike, which aimed to reduce France's dependency on fossil fuels. The truckers broke off a strike that would take place on Sunday evening after the unions had been reassured by written commitments from employers and the government regarding overtime pay.
However, the gas tax concession did not appear to calm many demonstrators lately.
The value of the damage from Saturday's demonstrations has not yet been recorded, but the demonstrations on a weekend in Paris last month would cost the city more than $ 1.1 million, the deputy mayor said. This was followed by protests last weekend that labeled the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti.
Le Maire said the bill will have to be collected by the government, the public and insurers. "These protests have had a significant impact on the economy," he said Sunday.
Meanwhile, in Washington, President Donald Trump apparently tweeted the protests, saying it was time to end the ridiculous and extremely expensive thing Paris Agreement " Curbing Climate Change."
In another tweet, Trump suggested the demonstrators had "We Want Trump!" However, there is no evidence to support the claim.
French Interior Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French news channel RTL Sunday that Trump should stay out of politics. The French are not straining American domestic policy, and US officials should do likewise, he said.
In light of the protests, Le Drian said he showed a deep sense of inequality in public, and Macron needed to consider "a new social contract."
Emmanuelle Saliba reported from Paris. Linda Givetash reported from London.
Saphora Smith and Reuters contributed to it.