France's Macron mulls security reforms amid massive fuel tax protests
French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his interior minister to consider making "adaptations" to security procedures to try to contain ongoing protests over rising taxes.
The president's office issued a statement after an emergency meeting was held at the presidential palace Sunday to discuss the protests a day earlier in which activists wearing yellow jackets trashed the streets of Paris.
The statement says Macron also asked Prime Minister Édouard Philippe to meet with the heads of France's major political parties and representatives from the grassroots movement behind the protests, "with a concern for dialogue."
Plans for an earlier meeting between the prime minister and representatives of the movement collapsed last week after a request to broadcast the talks live was rejected.
Paris police say 133 people were injured and 412 arrested after protesters torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores, threw rocks at police and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti in the French capital.
Vehicles and buildings burned
Michel Delpuech, the chief of police in Paris, said Sunday that fires were started at six buildings and more than 130 makeshift barricades and 112 vehicles were torched.
Delpuech said some participants in Saturday's rioting used hammers, gardening tools, bolts and aerosol cans in clashes with police.
He said some radical far-right or far-left activists were involved in the riot as well as a "great number" of protesters wearing yellow jackets. The jackets are an emblem of a grassroots citizens' movement protesting fuel taxes.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said 378 people remained in police custody as of Sunday evening. Many of them will go to trial through a rapid procedure on Monday and Tuesday.
The protests were initially prompted two weeks ago by a fuel tax rise.
The "yellow jackets" movement now involves a broad range of demands related to France's high cost of living. Saturday's violence was France's worst riot in over a decade.