“Steer clear of Paris”: Portuguese government warns emigrés

Portugal’s foreign ministry is advising emigrés and other nationals to “avoid unnecessary travel to Paris on Saturday” due to the “strong possibility of further confrontations” in demonstrations called by the now infamous “yellow vests”.

In a note published on the portal of the Portuguese communities, the government warns its citizens to avoid “any meeting points” for demonstrators, particularly in the areas of the Arc de Triomphe, the Bastille, the Champs Elysée, the area around Musée d’Orsay, and other central points already ‘battle-scarred’ from recent incidents.

Travellers are told to “keep informed” of the developing situation, and only use public transport if they have checked ahead to find it is fully working.

The French capital’s council (Mairie) will be keeping citizens up-to-date with announcements over social media.

Various museums and monuments will be closed over the weekend, and despite authorities appeals to suspend it, climate change activists say they will be sticking to their plan to hold a march to Place de la Republique.

The Portuguese government’s concern is not just with Paris. It is aware, say reports, that demonstrations could ‘spread’ to other urban centres, particularly Marseille, Nice, Aix, Arles and Avignon.

Blockades throughout the country have been in force to the extent that it has been difficult to replenish fuel stations and supermarkets.

Roadblocks have been in evidence around Provence airport and at some points in Brittany.

In other words, travelling into French territory has to be “well pondered”.

These uprisings began three weeks ago – initially to demand the suspension of a new tax on fuel. Since the tax was dropped however anger has focused on the policies of French president Emmanuel Macron whose popularity has nose-dived since he took office 18 months ago.

Low-paid workers and the retired are united in fury – the latter telling every media source that will listen that the country has simply “had enough of all the taxes…”

French citizens at the poorer end of the scale believe their president to be a ‘puppet of the rich’ and a disaster for the country as a whole.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com