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French police keep up protests despite 250-million-euro package

Police demonstrate in Nantes last week
Police demonstrate in Nantes last week Reuters/Stephane Mahe

French police protests continued at the weekend, despite the government's announcement that 250 million euros extra would be made available to the force to buy equipment and spruce up police stations.

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About 400 police officers demonstrated in the south-western city of Toulouse and about 200 in the southern port of Marseille on Saturday night.

Firefighters turned up, sirens blazing, in fire engines in Toulouse to the applause of the demonstrators.

On Friday night about 400 police officers demonstrated in Paris and other protests took place in a dozen or so cities on Thursday.

During the day on Saturday about 30 officers were called in to headquarters in Marseille for a reminder of rules that ban them from demonstrating in uniform or in police vehicles, as has been the case in nightly protests on the city's Old Port.

No disciplinary measures were to be taken, officials announced.

Government package fails to satisfy

Following more than a week of demonstrations, the government on Wednesday announced a 250-million-euro package to buy equipment, including 21,700 flak jackets capable of resisting Kalshnikov bullets, 8,000 helmets, 4,700 bullet-proof riot shields and 3,070new vehicles in 2017.

Police stations and gendarmes' barracks will also be renovated.Demostrators at the weekend complained that the measures were not enough and called for more personnel and "clear orders and consideration" from their bosses.

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