PARIS, December 16. /TASS/. The fifth day of rallies organized by the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests) public movement in France on Saturday turned out to be less violent and smaller in numbers than its predecessors.
According to preliminary estimates by police, about 66,000 people took part in rallies all across France this Saturday. In the capital Paris the event gathered less than 3,000 people. Seven participants were injured in clashes with police. By about 20:00 local time, the event in Paris was almost over, the majority of protesters were already gone, police barriers dismantled and the Champs Elysees open for traffic again.
Protests in other cities also were relatively calm.
This time, 168 people were detained for public order violations or carrying dangerous items, which is three times less than a week ago. 112 of them still remain in custody.
The number of police officers also declined compared to last Saturday: only 69,000 officers were deployed on city streets nationwide compared to 89,000 people last Saturday.
The movement, named after high-visibility jackets worn by supporters as a symbol of their protest, originated as a rally against the rise in fuel prices. However, its agenda was later broadened to include issues of social justice and welfare.
Lately, the government has announced a series of measures to ease social tensions in the country, worth about 10 billion euro. Those measures include increasing the minimum wage by 100 euro, tax exemptions for end-of-the-year bonuses, freezing gas and electricity tariffs and scrapping the environmental tax for car fuel.