Protesters were dispersed with teargas by the French riot police outside the Paris auto show on Tuesday.
The incidents took place as there were nationwide demonstrations over increasing job losses in France, where unemployment reached the highest level since 1999.
Police intervened after around 1,000 protesters, including workers from PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s Aulnay plant – which the carmaker wants to shut down – attempted to break through a security cordon around the location of the car show at the outskirts of Paris. Some protesters hit the police with eggs and flour during the standoff.
Protesters from the Paris auto show are members of the CGT labour union, one of the two biggest in France. CGT organised street rallies on Tuesday in the first nationwide protests since president Francois Hollande took office in May.
Unemployment in France is above 10 percent and the number of people out of jobs has surpassed 3 million for the first time in 13 years. CGT leader Bernard Thibault said nothing has changed during Hollande’s presidency, despite promises to slash the country’s public deficit without killing growth or applying cuts in spending.
Thousands of people marched in Lyon as well and in the southern port city of Marseille, according to police and union estimates, with other protests planned in other cities.