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Bordeaux town hall set on fire as violent protests spread across France ahead of King Charles visit
24 March 2023, 05:54 | Updated: 24 March 2023, 07:17
Bordeaux's town hall was set on fire in French protests on Thursday night as unrest intensifies across the country ahead of King Charles' first state visit on Sunday.
Around one million protestors took to the streets on Thursday, with 119,000 in Paris alone, according to government figures.
There were more violent clashes between protestors and police, with tear gas thrown in capital and 80 people arrested across France.
Protests are expected to continue into the weekend as the country prepares for King Charles III's first state visit on Sunday.
He is due to visit Bordeaux alongside Queen Consort Camilla on Tuesday.
The protests were sparked after President Macron forced through a Bill raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote.
France's interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has played down any worries ahead of the King's visit to France, saying there is no security problem and that Charles will be "welcomed well".
But one event due to be attended by the monarch has already been cancelled due to fears of violence.
The event was due to be the "highlight" of the King's visit to France, but will be moved as violent protests continue across the country.
An aide to President Macron told BFM news channel that ongoing disorder means it is too risky to hold the banquet at the Palace.
"The dinner between Charles III and Emmanuel Macron, planned for Monday, may not be held at Versailles, as initially planned," the aide said.
The plan is to move it elsewhere, with the Elysée Palace in Paris a possible replacement.
Protests across France have also impacted rail travel, oil refiners and schools after teachers staged a strike - as did workers at Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles - two major tourist attractions - were closed on Thursday.