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  1. ITV Report

State of emergency considered amid worst Paris riots in a decade

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Geraint Vincent

The French president is warning a state of emergency could be reimposed across the country after the worst riots in a decade in Paris.

Emmanuel Macron visited the Arc de Triomphe earlier to see the damage done after police and protesters clashed on Saturday night.

More than 130 people were injured, and 400 arrested in a demonstration over rising taxes.

Demonstrators push a charred car during a demonstration in Paris. Credit: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists wearing yellow jackets torched cars, smashed windows, looted shops and smeared the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti.

President Emmanuel Macron visited the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday morning and later held talks with his cabinet to discuss their response to what happened.

Mr Macron has vowed those responsible for the violence will pay for their actions.

President Emmanuel Macron (second right) visited the scenes of the violence. Credit: AP

On Sunday morning the streets of Paris were littered with the results of Saturday's violence, with city employees trying to clean up the graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe.

One marking read "yellow jackets will triumph", a reference to the fluorescent yellow vests protesters are wearing to demand relief for France's beleaguered workers.

Some of Paris's major avenues and streets around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue and the Tuileries garden were littered with piles of debris and burned cars. Graffiti was also sprayed on many shopfronts and buildings.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the violence was due to those who hijacked the protest, people who came "to loot, break and hit police forces".

Workers have been cleaning graffiti from the Arc de Triomphe. Credit: AP

It was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris involving activists dressed in the yellow vests of a new protest movement and the worst urban violence since at least 2005.

The scene in Paris contrasted sharply with protests elsewhere in France on Saturday that were mostly peaceful.

The demonstrators say Mr Macron's government does not care about the problems of ordinary people.

The grassroots protests began on November 17 with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike, but now involve a broad range of demands related to France's high cost of living.

Some protests turned violent on Saturday. Credit: AP