As tensions escalate in Paris to the highest and most critical levels since Emmanuel Macron took office last year, French officials will close numerous establishments on Saturday, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
Protests and heightened violence are expected again this weekend as officials expect a repeat of last week’s violence, NBC News reported.
Culture Minister Franck Riester said, “We cannot take the risk when we know the threat.”
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He added that “far-right and far-left agitators were planning to hijack rallies by ‘yellow vest’ protesters in Paris.”
Last weekend, in France’s most violent riot in over 10 years, “yellow jacket” protesters set fire to cars, shattered windows, looted stores and caused serious damage and looting to the Arc de Triomphe, according to the Local.
According to Paris police, at least 110 people, including 20 police officers, were injured and 224 others were arrested, Arkansas Online reported.
The violent riots have erupted over rising taxes and the very high cost of living, forcing authorities to use tear gas and water cannons to subdue the protestors.
Riester said the Louvre and Orsay museums, two operas, and the Grand Palais were just some of what will be closed this weekend. The Eiffel Tower will also be closed as authorities said they cannot secure protection for visitors.
The latest YouGov poll exposes that Macron’s rating has dropped to a mere 18 percent, after dropping three percent in three days, according to the Voice of Europe.
Four of the weekend’s first division football matches have been canceled.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is placing some 65,000 police on the streets after social media protesters called for “Act IV” – a fourth weekend of protest.
Owners of numerous shops and restaurants, near the area of Champs Elysees and Bastille, have been asked by authorities to close on Saturday.
Police have also been tasked with removing objects, debris, or anything else that could be used as a weapon to facilitate violence in the 15 public areas near the capital.
The French government is also considering deploying troops for anti-terrorism patrol missions around public buildings.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, “one protester was in a life-threatening condition after being part of a group pulling down a metal fence at the Tuileries gardens.”
President Emmanuel Macron criticized the violence and said, “those who attacked police and vandalized the Arc de Triomphe will be ‘held responsible for their acts.'”
“[Violence] has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of a legitimate anger” and “no cause justifies” attacks on police or pillaging stores and burning buildings,” Macron said.