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French prez threatens ban on demos after Paris violence

“At a time when France is hosting the Euro (football tournament), when it is faced with terrorism, demonstrations can no longer be authorised if property and people and public property cannot be safeguarded,” Hollande’s spokesman Stephane Le Foll told a cabinet meeting.

Earlier, a defiant Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed to stand firm on the reforms despite the mass protests against them. “The government will not change a text which is already the outcome of a compromise sealed several months ago with reform-minded unions,” Manuel Valls told France Inter radio.

Hollande’s Socialist government is trying to push through a set of reforms to the labour market in a bid to rein in down France’s stubbornly high unemployment rate.

But critics see the reforms as skewed towards business interests, and strikes and clashes have flared in recent months. 

On Tuesday, several hundred masked protesters hurled projectiles at police, who made dozens of arrests. Forty people were hurt in the clashes, which came with France in the international spotlight as host of the Euro football championships. 

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