Paris is on high alert with major security measures in place ahead of fresh “yellow vest” protests which authorities fear could turn violent for a second weekend in a row.
Shops, museums, metro stations and the Eiffel Tower were due to close, while top-flight football matches and music shows were cancelled.
The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, in scenes that shook the country and plunged President Emmanuel Macron’s government into its deepest crisis so far.
France’s interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said he expected “only a few thousand people” to descend on the capital after the 8,000 protesters counted last weekend, “but among them are ultraviolent individuals”.
He said: “These past three weeks have seen the birth of a monster that has escaped its creators,” adding that a “large-scale” security operation would be mounted on Saturday.
The minister vowed “zero tolerance” towards those aiming to wreak further destruction and mayhem, after dozens of vehicles were torched, shops looted and the Arc de Triomphe war memorial was wrecked last Saturday.