French police officers injured as Paris protesters damage businesses

April 12, 2016 11:34 am

Supporters of “Nuit Debout” (Up All Night) movement gather on the Place de la Republique in Paris, , on April 11, 2016 against a government’s labor reform proposal. ©Reuters

At least two French police officers have been injured when the rallies over government’s labor reforms turned violent and angry protesters attacked businesses in the capital Paris.
The French police said in a Tuesday statement that a group of demonstrators hurled projectiles at security forces during an overnight protest against proposed changes to working week and layoff practices.
The statement said a few hundred people went on a rampage at the Place de la Republique late last night, blocking neighboring streets, overturning garbage cans and smashing windows of several shops and restaurants.
The protesters also threw projectiles at riot police, who pushed them back in return. Two police officers got injured during the showdown.
Scores of demonstrations have been staged across France over the past 12 days in opposition to labor reforms being championed by the country’s Socialist government.
The French government has defended its controversial set of proposed reforms as a way for encouraging firms to hire more staff. Paris argues that the labor reforms will also reduce the country’s unemployment rate, which is currently hovering at 10 percent.
Unions and students, however, argue that the plans will make it easier for struggling companies to fire workers.
The reforms have seriously tainted the image of President Francois Hollande as his approval rating has plunged to a new low of 15 percent.
The parliament is due to vote on the controversial labor bill in late April or early May.
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