13:08 GMT16 January 2021
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    Earlier, French Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said that at least 700 people had been detained in Paris during the Yellow Vests protests against rising fuel prices last Saturday. The AFP news agency put the number of detainees at 950.

    French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has argued that the country's economy will be seriously affected by the Yellow Vests protest movement.

    "We must expect a new slowdown of economic growth at year-end due to the yellow vest protests. It is a catastrophe for trade, it is a catastrophe for our economy", Le Maire pointed out.

    READ MORE: 'Yellow Vests' Determined to Challenge French Political Establishment — PhD

    He made the remarks as he visited an upmarket area in Paris that was heavily vandalised during Saturday's Yellow Vests protests, in which at least 700 people were detained by police, according to French Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez.

    The AFP news agency reported that 950 people were arrested during the protests, which have been under way since November 17.

    Commenting on the issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised that Ankara was against the chaos disseminated by the protestors but that it opposes the use of extreme violence to quell them.

    READ MORE: French Extremists Destabilizing 'Yellow Vests' to Prolong Chaos – Activist

    Earlier, the French government stated that it was abandoning the planned fuel tax hike that had initially triggered the demonstrations, a move that has failed to stop the protests.

    In the past ten months, diesel fuel prices in France have risen by around 23 percent, while petrol prices have gone up by 15 percent. The fuel prices are expected to increase further in January.

    In late 2017, the French government approved a decision to raise the direct tax on diesel fuel, the most popular type in the country.


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    protesters, chaos, police, economy, Yellow Vests Protests, Bruno Le Maire, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, France
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