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Paris Businesses Assess Damage After 2nd Weekend of Protests

French riot police take position during clashes with French ambulance drivers as part of a demonstration at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France, Dec. 3, 2018.

Retailers, hotels and restaurants in Paris Monday assessed damages brought on by a second weekend of violent "yellow vest" protests.

"The impact is severe and ongoing," French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday, noting that the effect was nationwide, though Paris was most severely hit.

Some restaurants lost 20 to 50 percent of their takings, and some retailers had seen sales decline between 20 and 40 percent, Le Maire said, following a meeting with business representatives affected by the movement.

Hotel reservations were down 15 to 25 percent, he added.

What began as a demonstration organized on social media for November 17 to protest higher taxes on diesel fuel has morphed into a larger opposition against French President Emmanuel Macron.

Many of the protesters are wearing the yellow fluorescent vests that French drivers keep in their cars.

Nearly 100 people, including 16 police officers, were injured, and more than 200 were arrested after a protest turned violent in central Paris Saturday.

Protesters created roadblocks in the middle of some streets, smashed storefront windows, lit fires and threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons. By comparison, other demonstrations held elsewhere in France were largely peaceful.

Demonstrators are taking to the streets over frustrations about escalating taxes, especially on gasoline, and Macron's leadership.

Macron insists fuel taxes are needed to reduce France's dependence on fossil fuels and to fund renewable energy investments.