World, Europe

Yellow Vests ruin most of France’s speed cameras

Over half of the country’s 3,200 cameras have been degraded since start of protest movement, says interior minister

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 11.01.2019
Yellow Vests ruin most of France’s speed cameras

Ankara

PARIS

Yellow Vest protesters have destroyed or vandalized nearly two thirds of France’s fixed speed cameras since demonstrations began in November, the country’s interior minister said Thursday.

Christophe Castaner told reporters that 1,920 of the country’s 3,200 cameras had been degraded.

He also criticized those supporting Christophe Dettinger, a former French boxing champion filmed punching two police officers during Yellow Vest protests in Paris last weekend.

A campaign set up to help the boxer reportedly raised around €117,000 (around $135,000).

Castaner noted that he is in solidarity with the two policemen attacked by Dettinger while denying there was any violence by police against the protestors.

Meanwhile, 60 investigations were opened Tuesday into the alleged police violence.

Images of a police officer beating several protesters Saturday in the city of Toulon also made a strong impact on social media.

The tear gas that security forces used during the demonstrations injured many protestors.

On Dec. 23, the Interior Ministry reportedly ordered 1,730 tear gas weapons to be used by security forces against the demonstrators.

- Yellow Vest protests

The Yellow Vest protests, which started as a reaction to fuel tax hikes and evolved into a protest against French President Emmanuel Macron, have continued despite the government’s call for them to halt.

Since Nov. 17, thousands of protesters wearing bright yellow vests -- dubbed the Yellow Vests -- have gathered in major French cities, including the capital Paris, to protest Macron's controversial fuel tax hikes and the deteriorating economic situation.

Demonstrators held protests blocking roads and traffic and also blocked the entrances and exits to many gas stations and factories across the country.

The protesters, who generally live in rural areas due to high rents in the cities, called on Macron to cut fuel taxes and ease their economic difficulties.

Under pressure from the protests, Macron announced a rise in the minimum wage and scuttled the fuel tax hikes.

At least 10 people have died and more than a thousand others have been injured in the protests.

Reporting by:Yusuf Ozcan; Writing by:Jeyhun Aliyev

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