Paris protests SPREAD to Brussels as demonstrators CLASH with police – 400 arrests – Express.co.uk

Around 1,000 police were deployed onto the streets, where they used tear gas and fired water cannons at protestors in a desperate attempt to keep the situation spiralling out of control.

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Areas housing the buildings of the European Commission and European Parliament were sealed off, but video footage has emerged on social media of protesters seemingly squaring off with police outside the latter.

Police have put up barricades around both major European institutions, while both pedestrians and vehicles were denied access as a security precaution.

Brussels police revealed demonstrators had gathered in two major districts of the Belgian capital – Arts Lois and Porte de Namur.

Police spokeswoman Ilse Van De Keere told AFP: “There have been around 70 arrests following checks carried out as a preventive measure.”

The Belga news agency reported young protestors blocking a highway linking Brussels to the town of Rekkem in Flanders – close to the French border.

Paris riots LIVE updates: CHAOS ON STREETS as Macron protests SPIRAL out of control

Demonstrators also put up a barricade near the Freon-Belgian border close to Adinkerque.

According to reports, around 1,000 Belgian police were deployed as fears grew for the second successive weekend the violent protests against French President Emmanuel Macron’s rule would spill into neighbouring Brussels.

The movement in Belgium, inspired by the protests in France over the past month, has given voice to complaints about the cost of living and demanded the removal of Belgium’s centre-right coalition government – just six months before the national election in May.

Pictures posted on social media earlier today the windows and doors of buildings had been heavily boarded up in the expectation of further violence.

On November 30, a yellow vest protest by around 300 people in the Belgian capital turned violent, with two police cars set on fire.

The protests erupted last month after Mr Macron announced plans to raise diesel fuel taxes.

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But he buckled to pressure last week and was forced into an embarrassing U-turn, but the violence engulfing the country’s streets has continued.

The yellow vest demonstrators are demanding further concessions, including lower taxes, higher salaries, cheaper energy costs, better retirement provisions but ultimately, the French President’s resignation.

Last month, Mr Macron’s popularity rating plummeted in a poll by XX to 23 percent – down six percentage points from October.

At the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last weekend, he condemned the violent protests, but has not spoken publicly about them since, although he is expected to address France early next week.

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