19:15 GMT +317 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than 30,000 people are taking part in the yellow vest anti-government protests in France as demonstrations enter their ninth consecutive week, the BFMTV broadcaster reported on Saturday citing the Interior Ministry.

    According to the broadcaster, 32,000 people were attending the protests across France and 8,000 in Paris as of 2:00 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT).

    French police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in Paris earlier in the day after demonstrators hurled rocks and bottles at police near the Arc de Triomphe.

    The wave of the so-called yellow vest protests — named after the obligatory attribute of French drivers — started in mid-November. While the French government has scrapped its planned hike in diesel taxes, which is what initially sparked the protests, the yellow vests have evolved into a broader movement against government policies and rising living costs.

    The rallies have been marked by violent clashes between protesters and the police.


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