202.5

The Latest: Macron cancels Serbia trip after clashes

A man rides his bicycle past by charred cars, near the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital Saturday, as activists caused widespread damage and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti during clashes with police. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on France’s response to a Paris protest that turned violent (all times local):

7:25 p.m.

France’s presidential Elysee palace has confirmed that Emmanuel Macron’s two-day foreign trip to Serbia this week is being postponed as a result of the weekend violence in Paris.

Macron was due to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday. After a phone conversation Monday, they agreed to reschedule the trip in the near future.

The Elysee said Macron is “deeply attached” to the relationship between France and Serbia and “our deep ties sealed during the First World War.”

More than 100 people were injured in the French capital and 412 have been arrested over the weekend during France’s worst urban riot in years, with dozens of cars torched.

___

7:15 p.m.

Serbia’s president says French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed his visit to Serbia after France’s worst urban riots in years.

Aleksandar Vucic said Monday that “sadly because of the situation in France, Macron has asked that the visit be postponed for a couple of weeks.”

Macron was to arrive in Belgrade on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

Paris has witnessed three straight weekends of clashes. The protests began last month with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike and have grown to encompass a range of complaints against Macron’s government.

_

5:50 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has met with some national police units to show his support after Paris became a theater of violence and destruction during a weekend protest.

The Elysee presidential palace said Macron had a “long exchange” over lunch in a police station in eastern Paris on Monday with members of the CRS police units that maintain public order and police officers that control demonstrations.

The Elysee said the French leader also wanted to understand how they are coping and the difficulties they faced in handling one of the nation’s worst episodes of unrest in recent times. The Paris police chief has said officers had physical confrontations with demonstrators using hammers, gardening tools, bolts, aerosol cans and rocks.

Saturday’s demonstration against increased taxes and living costs devolved into France’s worst urban riot in a decade. More than 130 people were injured, including 23 police officers, and 412 people were arrested.

___

11:50 a.m.

France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has warned that the violent protests and road blockades will have a negative impact on the economy.

More than 100 people were injured in the French capital and 412 arrested over the weekend during France’s worst urban riot in years, with dozens of cars torched.

The movement, which has been partly stoked by a fuel tax hike, is hurting sales, according to Le Maire, who said at the ministry that “the impact on the French economy was serious” and that some sectors have reported sales declines of between 15 to 25 percent.

___

11:30 a.m.

Germany’s foreign minister says his country isn’t worried about anti-government protests in neighboring France and he’s confident the situation will calm down soon.

Germany and France have traditionally been the European Union’s leading powers. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday that “France is needed in Europe, and we know that focusing on such disputes in a country of course consumes energy, but that is completely normal.”

In Paris, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was holding crisis talks with representatives of major political parties.

Maas said that “France is known for its special protest culture, and I think we’re seeing that now, but from all that I hear and what is planned in the way of talks, we are confident that the situation there will calm down in the foreseeable future.”

___

9:25 a.m.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is holding crisis talks with representatives of major political parties in the wake of violent anti-government protests that have rocked Paris.

More than 100 people were injured in the French capital and 412 have been arrested over the weekend during France’s worst urban riot in years, with dozens of cars torched.

President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency meeting on security with Philippe on Sunday and the government hasn’t ruled out the possibility of imposing a state of emergency.

It was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris. The protests began last month with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike and have grown to encompass a range of complaints that Macron’s government doesn’t care about the problems of ordinary people.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



Advertiser Content