'Yellow vest' protests cause €170 million damage (and that's before the Champs-Elysées riot)

AFP - [email protected]
'Yellow vest' protests cause €170 million damage (and that's before the Champs-Elysées riot)
Boarded up shops on the Champs-Elysees. Photo: AFP

Insurance claims from violence surrounding yellow vest protests in France have reached €170 million already, and are bound to rise after the targeting of luxury brands on the Champs-Elysées over the weekend


The French Insurance Federation said on Monday that claims for damages linked to violent 'yellow vest' protests over the past three months have been estimated at €170 million.

However that figure does not include demonstrations on the Champs-Elysees on Saturday, which saw dozens of luxury stores attacked and kiosks burned.



The FFA said that 10,000 claims had been filed since the outbreak of protests in November over fuel taxes, which then snowballed into a revolt  against the governing style and policies of President Emmanuel Macron.

Since the end of December, the number of protesters has fallen, but each Saturday thousands still take to the streets, including far-right and far-left  groups as well as anarchists who are responsible for much of the violence.



On Saturday, 91 shops including luxury outlets such as Longchamps and Bulgari were damaged, burned or looted on the Champs-Elysees, according to the Paris Chamber of Commerce, in scenes that were broadcast worldwide.



Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire convened a meeting Monday to discuss the economic impact of the demonstrations, which have tarnished the country's image abroad.

The government and Macron were on the defensive again on Monday amid renewed questions over why security forces were again unable to prevent the violence on France's most famous avenue.

On December 1, protesters ransacked the Arc de Triomphe and ran amok through wealthy areas of the city, torching cars and damaging businesses, in scenes that shook the country and Macron's presidency.

"Enough is enough. What happened on the Champs-Elysees on Saturday is just  the repetition of what shopkeepers have already lived through," the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Companies said in a statement on Monday.

"It's unacceptable that this was allowed to happen again," it added, calling on the government to "take the measures which are its responsibility. Now." 


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