On Monday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that a new bill aimed at tackling violent protesters would be put to a vote in the French parliament next month.
A fresh Yellow Vests rally which was set to be held in the French city of Bourges was outlawed due to concerns that it may turn violent, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The move was taken after police warned that rioting could once again turn violent on the streets as France now faces its ninth week of anti-government demonstrations.
In an interview with France Inter radio, national police chief Eric Morvan said he anticipated that the riots would reach the same level as they were before the Christmas holidays.
This comes after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Monday that a new bill tackling violent protesters would be put to a vote in parliament next month. According to media reports, the bill would ban designated persons, who are considered violent, from attending protests, while also introducing fines as high as 15,000 euros ($17,000) and year-long prison sentences for anyone who covers their face during violent demonstrations, in addition to other measures.
The wave of so-called Yellow Vests protests — named after the reflective garment all drivers in France are required to carry in their vehicles — started in mid-November. While the French government scrapped its planned diesel tax hike, which is what initially sparked the protests, the riots have evolved into a broader movement against government policies and rising living costs. The rallies have been marked by violent clashes between protesters and the police.