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Paris: Is it safe to travel to French capital during the Gilets Jaunes protests?

From express

What is the situation in Paris?

The Gilets Jaunes, a group named after the yellow jacket lorry drivers must display in their vehicles, began their protests in November. They were campaigning against a new government instigated eco-tax on petrol and diesel. Those in charge of the country dropped the tax yet the demonstrators then called for more demands, including a greater public voice in government policy. Last weekend, more than 84,000 protesters took to the streets in France, with 8,000 in Paris. Extra police officers were drafted in and they used teargas and water pumps to try to dispel the groups, after scuffles near the tourist landmarks of the Arc De Triomphe.

Is it still safe to travel to Paris?

The UK Government has updated its safety advice for tourists heading the France.

It does not advise against travelling to France, or its capital, but does warn visitors to expect disruption and to avoid demonstrations, as they can get violent.

It also added visitors should follow the advice of local authorities.

What have experts said about the demonstrations?

Bruno Cautrès, of the elite Sciences Po political research unit CEVIPOF, said: “We are beginning to see in our research that the question of violence will polarise the movement between those, like members of the France Insoumise [far left] and the Rassemblement Nationale [far right], who feel this violence might be justified and others who feel it’s gone too far.

“Having said that the level of support for the gilets jaunes remains high.”

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has told how a national debate will kick off today, January 15, in response.

It will centre on taxes, green energy, citizenship and institutional reform and take place in town halls.

How do British tourists get to Paris?

Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year.

There are many options available to tourists to visit the European country.

Those who like to travel can take a car ferry to Calais and drive through the country to the capital city.

Alternatively, holiday-makers can travel to either of the capital’s main airports.

There is also the option to travel via the Eurostar.

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