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Wednesday 18 September 2019

French police handed pay boost after protests

Police have been massively overstretched after weeks containing protests by the grassroots yellow vest movement.

(AP)
(AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The French government has bowed to police demands for a salary boost and years of overtime pay after officers staged a series of protests, including at the main Paris airport.

Police have been massively overstretched after weeks containing protests by the grassroots yellow vest movement.

A deadly attack last week near the Strasbourg Christmas market has led to increased holiday surveillance around France, adding to demands on officers.

The Interior Ministry said on Thursday that two days of meetings with police unions produced an agreement to boost pay.

Unions said President Emmanuel Macron’s government also agreed to pay 275 million euros (£247 million) in back overtime pay, but details have yet to be worked out.

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The yellow vest protesters march near the Champs Elyses (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Unions welcomed the deal. But some police are still calling for a protest on Thursday near the Champs-Elysees, a flashpoint of recent rioting.

It comes as authorities said a ninth person has been killed in the yellow vest protests.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said the victim was a protester killed in the south-west city of Agen.

Calling for calm, Mr Castaner said: “This must stop. Nine dead.”

Politician Olivier Damaisin said the protester was hit by a truck and had been a local yellow vest movement leader.

Eight others have died in incidents tied to the movement, mostly from traffic accidents linked to roadblocks.

PA Media

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