Eiffel Tower to close Saturday amid Paris riot fears

Paris riots continue despite fuel tax delay

Paris police have also urged shops in the city's high-end Champs-Elysees area to close Saturday as a precaution.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday, announced the suspension of fuel taxes for the next six months, in order to ease the tension created by "yellow vest" protesters movement, which has radicalized Paris.

As well as increased police numbers, twelve armoured vehicles belonging to the gendarmerie would be used, the first time in a French city since 2005 when riots broke out in the capital's suburbs.

In the face of the sometimes violent protests, the government said this week that it would suspend the fuel tax increase.

An Elabe poll released on Wednesday found 78 per cent believe Philippe's concessions fail to meet the protesters demands, and most think they will fail to boost purchasing power.

"Just like everybody, we're strangled (financially) after the 15th of the month", he told The Associated Press, referring to the day when many workers are paid.

"I am ready to look at all measures that will help raise the pay of those on the minimum wage without doing excessive damage to our competitiveness and businesses", Philippe told the parliament's upper house.

Farmers union FNSEA said it would fight to help farmers earn a better income, though it said it would not officially be joining forces with the "yellow vests", as the protesters have come to be called after the high-visibility vests French motorists are required to keep in their cars, and which they don for demonstrations.

Demonstrators built barricades in the middle of streets in central Paris.

Rioters torched cars, shattered windows, looted shops and sprayed and anti-Macron graffiti across some of Paris' most affluent districts, even defacing the Arc de Triomphe.

"No tax deserves to put civil peace in danger", Philippe said.

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The movement has evolved into a general expression of discontent of the policies of the metropolitan elite, with the Yellow Vests protesting also against taxes, the cost of living, and the progressive president's plan to sign the controversial UN Migration Compact next week.

Several museums and other cultural sites have previously announced they will close on Saturday, fearing a repeat of rioting and protests in the French capital by the yellow vest movement.

The protests began November 17 with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase, but have grown to encompass a range of complaints - the stagnant economy, social injustice and France' tax system, one of the highest in Europe - and some now call for the government to resign.

Protests scheduled for Saturday had not been called off and Le Figaro reported 65,000 police officers and law enforcement personnel - and other "exceptional" resources - had been mobilized ahead of any potential disruption.

"What is at stake is the safety of the French people and our institutions".

Security sources said the government was considering using troops now used on anti-terrorism patrols to protect public buildings.

The backpedaling by Macron's government is a significant blow to his presidency, which has been dogged by accusations he is out of touch and is a president for the rich.

One of the main measures implemented by the French government to boost business and investment after Macron's election past year was to set a flat tax of 30 percent on all capital income and remove the top marginal band of payroll tax.

Scores of protesting teens clashed with police at a high school west of Paris, as part of nationwide student protests over new university admissions procedures and rising administrative fees.

But violent troublemakers who pillage and riot - "that's something else", he also said.

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