Trump must not interfere in French politics, says minister

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Yellow Vests protesters march during their demonstration near the Place de la Bastille.

He has already offered protesters a string of concessions, including scrapping further fuel tax rises in 2019 - a major climbdown for a president who had vowed not to be swayed, like his predecessors, by mass protests.

The Prime Minister of France Edouard Philippe reported 481 delayed for checks, 211 taken into custody in Paris.

But protests have also erupted over other issues, including calls for higher wages, lower taxes, better pensions and easier university entry requirements.

The latest protests drew the attention of US President Donald Trump, who said they were a reflection of the failure of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In a separate tweet, Trump also said: "Very sad day & night in Paris".

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The streets of Paris were filled with thousands of protesters again on Saturday, in what has become French President Emmanuel Macron's biggest challenge as demonstrations grow more intense. "Leave our nation be". But, mindful of France's deficit and not wanting to flout European Union rules, Macron has scant wriggle room for more concessions.

"It is clear that we underestimated people's need to make themselves heard", Griveaux told Europe 1 radio.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the unrest was creating a "catastrophe" + for the French economy, with nationwide roadblocks playing havoc with the traffic and putting off tourists from visiting Paris.

He told BFM television that working-class protesters were deliberately targeting high-end shops in Paris that were selling goods they never afford.

The Elysee Palace official said on Sunday that the goal is to mobilize into action the panoply of officials representing political, economic and social forces of France in a bid to unwind a spiral of protests. In Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes and Toulouse the protesters clashed with police.

As in previous weeks, a peaceful core of protesters - many of them from provincial towns and cities, and from the suburbs of Paris - was infliltrated by extreme-right, extreme-left and anarchist elements that defied riot police.

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"The sector concerned by the incidents was much larger ..."

In the following days, Trump lobbed a series of insults at Macron, mocking France's military, its wine, and Macron's personal approval ratings, all of which foreshadowed his apparent pleasure at the violence engulfing Paris.

Police frisked protesters Saturday at train stations around the country, confiscating everything from heavy metal petanque balls to tennis rackets - anything that could remotely be used as a weapon.

Near the Arc de Triomphe, police fired tear gas grenades and water cannons to push back demonstrators.

Used tear gas canister lids lay scattered Sunday on the cobblestones of the elegant Champs-Élysées after the hours-long standoff on Saturday between riot police and protesters.

About 8,000 police officers were on the ground in Paris - almost twice as many as last week.

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Saturday's protests saw the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and countless businesses and restaurants close to visitors in anticipation of violence.

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