PARIS, January 13. /TASS/. At least 24 people were injured on Saturday during the ninth round of protests in France, organized by the Yellow Vests movement, the French Interior Ministry said.
A total of 22 people were diagnosed with serious injuries. Two people - a riot police officer and a protestor who suffered a heart attack - are in critical condition.
The overall number of participants in protests all across France stood at 84,000 people, including some 8,000 who took to the streets of the capital Paris.
The French capital’s police department said that 240 people were detained in France on Saturday. Some 200 of them were placed in custody.
The protests, which have traditionally taken place on Saturdays, were organized in the country’s biggest cities - Paris, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse and Bordeaux. Clashes with police were reported in some of them, including Paris and Bordeaux.
According to the BFM TV channel, today’s day of protest, just like the previous one held on January 5, was marred "by a series of protesters’ attacks on journalists." During the protest in Rouen, journalists of the LCI news channel were attacked. A TV crew of BFM was attacked in Paris.
Since mid-November, France has been gripped by street riots over skyrocketing fuel prices, growing taxes and soaring living costs. The demonstrations spiraled into clashes with the police and a protest against the country’s leadership, whom protestors accuse of ineffective government and taking insufficient measures to fight poverty. Despite certain concessions made by the authorities, like cut taxes and wage hikes, the Yellow Vests are pledging to carry on these rallies.
According to Agence France Presse, the nine weeks of protests claimed the lives of ten people, more than 1,600 received injuries of varying degrees.
Analysts give conflicting forecasts regarding the tenth round of protests, because nationwide debates, intended to produce a realistic response to demands of Yellow Vests, are expected to begin soon.
The debates were organized on the initiative of the country’s President Emmanuel Macron. On Monday, the French leader is expected to publish an open letter to the country’s citizens, in which he is expected to express his vision of the upcoming discussion and will call on the public to actively engage in it.