Thursday, March 19, 2009
France hit by new wave of nationwide protests
By JEAN-MARIE GODARD
PARIS (AP) — More than 1 million people marched in France on Thursday to demand the government do more to overcome the economic crisis, but planned strikes failed to fulfill a key goal — to paralyze the country.
Skirmishes between several hundred youths and riot police broke out in the square where the Paris march of at least 85,000 ended. Police said the youths — some of them hooded — set garbage cans on fire and showered police with bottles and stones, injuring nine officers.
Police said they detained 49 of the estimated 500 youths as they worked to empty the Place de la Nation in eastern Paris.
France's economy, which was sluggish even before the crisis, is now reeling. The country's national statistics agency said Thursday the economy is shrinking at the fastest pace in more than 30 years.
SOURCE: GOOGLE NEWS