“It’s a time when normally business is going well, it’s the eve of Christmas celebrations, and now, it’s a catastrophe,” Le Maire told reporters during a tour of a Paris neighborhood battered by the latest protests. “It’s a catastrophe for business, it’s a catastrophe for our economy.”
The government will deliver a “very concrete and very direct” response to businesses affected by the violence, he said, adding: “The bills for the damages must be covered by the state, by solidarity, by the insurers.”
About 120,000 police, military security and firefighters responded to protests on Saturday, in a nearly one-to-one ratio with the more than 125,000 protesters that rallied on the streets in towns and cities across France, according to the interior ministry. In Paris, shop owners boarded up their businesses, museums and major tourist attractions were closed, and police arrested 1,082 protesters.