A total of 406 police officers and 61 protesters were injured during the altercations that took place in different French cities in the framework of the protests against the pension reform on May 1according to a new count by the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin.
The minister, in an interview with the channel bfmtvalso announced the arrest of 540 people, 305 of them in Paris, and attributed the incidents to far-left groups.
In the interview, Darmanin charged forcefully against the leader of the radical left, Jean-Luc Melenchon, whom he reproached for not having condemned the attacks against the forces of order.
“Jean-Luc Mélenchon has a share of responsibilitystressed the minister, who was particularly outraged by the situation of a policeman in Paris who “could have died” from the serious injuries he suffered after being hit by an incendiary device.
Darmanin spoke of the “complicity” of political or union leaders who do not condemn the violence and stressed that without the action of the forces of order, the demonstration on May 1 in Paris would not have been possible, so that “there would not have been social democracy”.
According to his version, behind the riots in the capital, which took place throughout the duration of the demonstration between the Republic Square and the one of the Nation and for several more hours around the latter, there were some 2,000 members of the ultra-left.
In order to face this risk of radical groups in the future, the minister’s proposal is a law and a concerted device with other European countries (where some violent elements also come from) to prevent those who are identified from participating in demonstrations.
He also demanded from the Justice “stronger criminal sanctions against those who attack the forces of order.”
Among the condemnations against the violence that plagued union parades in Parisbut also in other cities like Lyon, Nantes either Toulousethe leader of the extreme right, Marine LePen, he highlighted the “assassination attempts against law enforcement.”
On his Twitter account, Le Pen also referred to the burning of a building near the Place de la Nation in Paris and said that the perpetrators would have to be tried before a criminal court, competent for crimes punishable by more than ten years in prison.
The Minister of the Interior replied to the leader of the extreme right, pointing out that her speech “is empty” that she does not offer “any proposal” and that “in the silence of her action, there is nothing more than demagogy” because “she always says the things that people want to listen” but without confronting them with reality.
In the around 300 demonstrations called by unions throughout France to protest the government’s pension reform, which is already enacted, 782,000 people participated, 112,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry.
For the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), there were 2.3 million, of which 550,000 in the capital.
To deal with the incidents, Darmanin had mobilized 12,000 police officers and gendarmes throughout the country, including 5,000 in Paris.
(With information from EFE)
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