During widespread demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s pensions reform on Thursday, 457 people were detained and 441 members of the security forces were hurt, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
Speaking to CNews on Friday morning, Darmanin added that 903 fires had been started in Paris’ streets on what was by far the most violent protest day since the demonstrations started in January.
Darmanin continued, “There were many demonstrations and some of them turned violent, particularly in Paris.” He called the death toll “tough” and praised the police for defending the more than a million protesters that marched throughout France. Young males wearing hoods and facemasks were observed breaking windows and torching uncollected trash in the closing moments of the Paris march, which the police had warned would be targeted by anarchist organizations.
Darmanin, a right-wing hardliner in Macron’s centrist government, dismissed demonstrators’ calls to rescind the pensions reform, which was controversially approved by parliament last week.
He declared, “I don’t think we should repeal this statute due to violence. “If so, there is no state, so. A democratic, social argument is acceptable, but one that is violent is not.
In another incident on Thursday, fighting in the center of wine exportation in the southwest of France caused the entryway to Bordeaux city hall to catch fire.
“I find it difficult to comprehend and accept this kind of damage”