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Anti-globalisation protests hit French Riviera ahead of G20 summit

Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Around 10,000 anti-globilisation protestors are set to descend on the French Mediterranean city of Nice on Tuesday ahead of the G20 summit of world leaders taking place on Thursday and Friday in the nearby resort of Cannes. 

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Thousands of extra police have been drafted into the city for the demonstrations, billed as a ‘people’s summit’, which is expected to draw protestors from Italy, Germany and Spain.

Ahead of the protests, police say anyone believed to be associated with the so-called “Black Bloc’ militant protests will face arrest if they are found in the area.

An abbatoir in Nice, turned into a cultural centre, will host speeches, a concert and a dinner on Tuesday, while some protestors aim to head to the principality of Monaco on Thursday to mark the end of tax havens that was announced at the 2009 G20 in London.

A heavy police presence is also in evidence in neighbouring Cannes which has been transformed into a fortress for this week’s summit.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Around 12,000 security forces have been brought in from around France. And snipers are to be placed on the route taken by the heads of state and governments from the world’s 20 largest economies.

Cannes famous Croisette seafront will be off limits to anyone who does not hold a security pass while a section of the town centre has been barred to outsiders.

The G20 comes at a crucial time for world leaders and talks are likely to be dominated by Europe’s sovereign debt and banking crisis. Europe’s debt problem is one of the biggest risks to global economic growth, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD.

Last week, European leaders managed to put together a deal to contain the debt crisis in Greece and strengthen bank balance sheets, but key details remain. In particular, Europe needs to convince China and other emerging powers to back the bail-out fund for debt-laden euro-nations.

Other challenges include the need for the US to boost economic activity in the short run while also taking steps to bring down long-term budget deficits.

 

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