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PM meets opposition after weekend of violent clashes

France 24, Dec 3

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe cancelled his appearance at the COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, Poland, on Monday, instead meeting with French political leaders to formulate a response to the violent 'yellow vest' protests.

Philippe will announce new "measures" this week to defuse the crisis, which sparked the worst clashes in the capital since the uprising of May 1968.

The prime minister will also meet with spokespeople from the yellow vest movement on Tuesday afternoon.

Junior interior minister Laurent Nunez announced on Monday that there would be no measures to introduce a state of emergency. “It's one option among others, but for now it's not on the table," Nunez told RTL radio.

President Emmanuel Macron held emergency talks with the prime minister, interior minister and top security service officials at the presidential palace in Paris after flying in from the G20 summit in Argentina on Sunday.

There will be a debate on the political situation at the National Assembly on Wednesday, followed by a debate in the Senate on Thursday. A planned visit by Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, to the National Assembly this week has been cancelled as a result.

Protests spread on Monday to around a hundred high schools across the country. Teenagers demonstrated in front of their blockaded schools, setting rubbish bins on fire and shouting for Macron to resign. The renewed protests come after wide-scale student demonstrations in 2018 against proposed educational reforms, including a new university application system.

Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that the government would be attempting to speed up tax cuts as well as decreases in public spending in order to respond as quickly as possible to the riots.

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