'Yellow vests' banned from Paris during VE Day ceremonies

French police gear up for protesters as Europe commemorates the anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender.

    President Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath marking the 74th anniversary of World War II's end in Europe [Christian Hartmann/AFP]
    President Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath marking the 74th anniversary of World War II's end in Europe [Christian Hartmann/AFP]

    "Yellow vest" protesters, whose roadblocks and demonstrations have sparked chaos in the French capital since November, will be prevented from rallying at major sites in central Paris during commemorations marking the end of World War II in Europe.

    The anti-government movement campaigning for radical tax reforms and minimum wage increases was on Wednesday barred from causing any disruption along the Champs-Elysees avenue and at the famed Arc de Triomphe, Paris police said.

    The Arc, commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his military victories and containing the French tomb of "the unknown soldier", was vandalised during a protest last year.

    Culture Minister Franck Riester said in a statement last week $1.3m had been spent restoring the landmark before the 74th anniversary of VE Day.

    "The restoration has been done in only a few months, which is very fast," said Riester.

    French president Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday drove along the Champs-Elysee accompanied by a delegation of Republican Guards to lay a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe in tribute to the 600,000 French deaths during the war.

    French schools and many businesses are closed on May 8, a public holiday in France and several other European nations, and wreath-laying events take place in towns and villages across the country.

    VE Day - Victory in Europe Day - marks the day following the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies