A former French boxing champion who surrendered to police after he was filmed raining blows on riot officers during a "yellow vest" protest has received tens of thousands of euros in public donations, infuriating government ministers.
Numerous protesters are demanding that the centrist President Emmanuel Macron to resign, which is dismissed as undemocratic by the government.
The ex-boxer, identified by French media as 37-year-old Christophe Dettinger, is a former heavyweight professional fighter who reportedly works for the local government in the Essonne area south of Paris.
Dettinger turned himself in on Monday, saying he was defending himself. Macron made multiple concessions that failed to extinguish the anger of the yellow vest movement, which is named after the fluorescent protective garments the protesters wear.
About 5,000 security forces would be mobilized in Paris where rioters torched cars, electric motors and barricades, punched and kicked riot police officers to the ground and used a forklift truck to invade a government building compound.
"In France, as in Italy, politics has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people".
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.
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Disturbing footage emerged showing police beating protesters in the southern city of Toulon, with multiple media reporting that the incident is now under investigation for brutality.
During the protests, a number of Yellow Vests were seen with accolades of cryptocurrencies written on their garb.
"I support honest citizens protesting against a president who governs against his people", Salvini said, while "firmly" condemning recent protest violence.
"Faced with ultra-violence, we need to be ultra-severe".
Since November, demonstrations initially triggered by a tax hike on diesel fuel and expanded to encompass the high cost of living have led to violent clashes with police in Paris and other cities.
But numerous protesters say the measures are not enough and that rural France is paying the price for Macron's policies, which they see as mainly profiting a wealthy Parisian elite.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner estimated that about 50,000 people participated in protests around France on Saturday.