Italian Populists Back Yellow Vests While Macron's France Pledges Crackdown


France plans to introduce legislation to toughen sanctions on undeclared protests in response to violent yellow vest demonstrations, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Monday in a hardening of the government's stance on the unrest.

In another video, wearing a black hat and gloves, he kicks a police officer lying on the ground.

Both yellow vests and "casseurs", hooded youths from anti-capitalist or anarchist groups, appeared to be involved.

The government would not relent in its pursuit of reforms to reshape the economy, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on Friday, branding the remaining protesters agitators seeking to overthrow the government.

"To what level of hate have we sunk to in the public sphere that people fund gratuitous violence against someone charged with upholding public order?" "I have the anger of the people in me", said the 2007 and 2008 champion in the French junior heavyweight division.

The SCSI-CFDT police union, for its part, said the funds should be seized to compensate the two officers targeted by Dettinger, who were removed from duty while recovering from their injuries.

As of Monday morning, over 7,000 people had pledged a total of 117,000 euros ($134,000) on the Leetchi website for Christophe Dettinger, known as "The Gypsy From Massy" during his days in the ring.

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The minister believed that the strong cry rising from French streets meant "we want to participate" and that this was the same spirit which has animated the 5-Star Movement since it was formed in 2009.

The French boxing federation issued a statement condemning the violence, saying that it "ran completely contrary to the values of our sport".

Protests in France are becoming a common occurrence. It has announced punishments against those holding unsanctioned protests and is trying to push through a legislative bill that would ban masks from being worn at rallies.

Police officers used tear gas to keep the crowd at a distance from the French leader.

Nearly 8,000 donors pledged more than 116,000 euros (Dh491,000) to Mr Dettinger before indignant reaction from police unions and politicians led the crowdfunding company Leetchi to suspend the appeal.

The Yellow Vest protests, which started as a reaction to fuel tax hikes and evolved into a protest against French President Emmanuel Macron, have continued despite the government's call for them to halt.

News of the amount she was due to be paid, which is roughly on a par with the President's salary, sparked angry reaction from yellow vests and opposition figures.