Violence erupts on streets of Paris as anarchists riot in traditional May Day protests

Police fired tear gas and made 54 arrests as black-clad anarchists ransacked business premises in Paris on Sunday during May Day protests against the policies of newly re-elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Thousands of people joined May Day marches across France, calling for salary increases and for Macron to drop his plan to raise the retirement age.

Most were peaceful but violence broke out in the capital, where police arrested 54 people, including a woman who attacked a fireman trying to put out a fire, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter. Eight police were injured, he added.

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About 250 rallies were organised in Paris and other cities including Lille, Nantes, Toulouse and Marseille. Overall 116,500 people demonstrated across the country, including 24,000 in the capital, the interior ministry said.

In Paris, trade unionists were joined by political figures - mostly from the left - and climate activists.

The cost of living was the main theme in the presidential election campaign and looks set to be equally prominent ahead of June legislative elections that Macron's party and its allies must win if he is to be able to implement his pro-business policies, including increasing retirement age from 62 to 65.

Marchers carried banners reading "Retirement Before Arthritis", "Retirement at 60, Freeze Prices" and "Macron, Get Out"

Macron won a new five-year presidential term after beating far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in last Sunday's runoff vote.

Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who came third in the first round of the presidential vote, attended the Paris march. "We will not make a single concession on pensions," Melenchon said before the march started.

France's parliamentary elections will be held on June 12th and 19th.

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