French police fire tear gas as ‘yellow vest’ protests return to Paris

Paris: French police fired tear gas and arrested more than 200 people in Paris on Saturday as "yellow vest" protesters returned to the capital's streets in force for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.

The "yellow vests" movement, named after motorists' high-visibility jackets, began in late 2018 in protest against fuel taxes and economic reform, posing a major challenge to President Emmanuel Macron as demonstrations spread across France.

A yellow vest protester wearing protective face masks as precaution against the conoravirus holds up a yellow card during a march in Paris.Credit:

The return of the protest movement comes as France grapples with a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The country's daily cases of COVID-19 reached a record high on Thursday of nearly 10,000.

A day later, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced plans to speed up testing and toughen measures in certain cities as the government seeks to avoid a repeat of the spring's nationwide lockdown.

Police called on Saturday's demonstrators to respect coronavirus measures in Paris, which is among France's high-risk "red zones" and where it is compulsory to wear a face mask in the street.

Reuters

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