French Cabinet Claims Italian Ministers, RT Share Similar Stance on Yellow Vests

Ex-boxing champ surrenders after punching French police

"I am a yellow vest". "Everyone must assume their responsibilities: this fund is shameful", he added.

Leetchi did not reveal how much was raised in total, but said it would ensure the funds will be used only to pay for legal costs and that any money left over would be returned to donors.

Leetchi initially defended its hosting of the fundraising, saying it was simply a "neutral" online platform.

French President Emmanuel Macron posted on Twitter his condemnation of the weekend's most violent incidents, decrying "extreme violence" against "the Republic, its guardians, its representatives, and its symbols".

On Facebook he wrote: "I was gassed with my friend, my wife, and at some point I was taken over by anger, so yes I acted badly".

The new legislation is set to ban known "troublemakers" from participating in protests, in the same way known football hooligans have been prevented from attending matches in stadiums in the past.

A former professional boxer was also caught on camera beating up police officers. "A little like your interior minister, Castaner, who said yesterday, '50,000 is just over one person per municipality in France, that's the reality of the Yellow Vest movement today, we can therefore see that the movement is not representative of France, '" Di Maio said.

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Some yellow vest protesters are consider launching their own bid, which potentially could shuffle the cards.

Recent surveys suggest 75 per cent of the public oppose his government's policies and 60 per cent were unimpressed by his New Year message, in which he said he understood popular anger but remained committed to his reform programme.

Around 50,000 "yellow vest" protesters took to the streets again on Saturday to denounce President Macron's policies, call for his resignation or demand more of a say in national law-making.

In addition, the protesters drew support from an unlikely source on Monday when the two leading figures of the populist government in Rome urged the yellow vests to continue, in comments which risk ramping up Italy's war of words with Macron.

Images of a policeman striking several protesters in the southern city of Toulon on Saturday also risk fanning the flames. She pointed to the fact that RT resources had 20 times more views of the reports about the yellow vests protests than French media.

Another huge security operation, involving 80,000 personnel, is planned for Saturday when the 10th weekly protests are due to be staged around France.

The demonstrations shaking France since mid-November had further dented Macron's standing at the end of past year, with his popularity dropping to record lows amid a backlash that started out as an outcry over planned fuel tax hikes.

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