Versailles closes ahead of 'yellow vest' protest as numbers fall

'Yellow vest' protest numbers fall in run-up to Christmas

France's 'yellow vest' protesters block major route to Spain

A man died in southern France on Friday when his auto hit a truck at a road block erected by "Yellow Vest" protesters, raising the death toll linked to the anti-government demonstrations to 10, the authorities said on Saturday.

The number of protesters demonstrating on the Champs Elysees on Saturday is down sharply on recent weeks as an appeal for a sixth straight weekend of protests across France appeared to fall on deaf ears.

Protesters wearing yellow vests clash with police during a demonstration of the "yellow vests" movement in Nantes, France, on Saturday.

Almost 40,000 people took part in a sixth round of nationwide protests on Saturday, according to the interior ministry - around half the number who demonstrated a week earlier.

There were other small-scale protests in the rest of the country, with hundreds of yellow vests briefly blocking trucks near the French-Spanish border before being dispersed by police. And he said while the yellow vest protests seem to be abating, police are seeing a "growing intensity of violence against security forces".

The embattled president - whose name rang out across the Champs-Elysees as protesters shouted "Macron, resign" - is expected to address the demonstrations in a much-anticipated speech in the coming days.

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Around 2,000 protesters gathered in Paris, compared to 4,000 last week, police said. Numerous protesters gathered at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur basilica in the picturesque neighborhood of Montmartre near the center of the capital.

The "gilets jaunes" (yellow vest) protesters - named after the high-visibility jackets French motorists must carry in their cars - began in mid-November against fuel tax increases and later widened to include the liberal economic reform policies of President Macron.

Last week, Macron sought to defuse the crisis by announcing a €10 billion (RM47.6 billion) package of measures to help pensioners and low-paid workers.

A 36-year-old man was killed in a road accident in the southern French city of Perpignan after encountering a blockade set up by "yellow vest" protesters late Friday night, according to a city spokeswoman.

While the demonstrations were mainly calm compared to the Paris riots earlier in the month, there were concerns about their effect on pre-Christmas sales.

Earlier, protesters had blocked major highways in the nation, vandalising toll booths and shops and causing hefty losses to road operators.

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