Riots in France have already cost businesses more than $1 billion

Just weeks after hugely disruptive protests and strikes over pension reforms in France finally died down, businesses in the country are grappling with the fallout from a week of rioting.

The riots, which were sparked by the fatal shooting of a teenager by a police officer last Tuesday, have already caused more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) worth of damage, according to a French business association, MEDEF.

Protesters have looted 200 stores and destroyed 300 bank branches and 250 smaller corner shops, a MEDEF spokesperson told CNN.

The wave of unrest erupted after 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk was shot dead during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb. Protesters in cities across France took to the streets in the days that followed to express their fury over how the country’s marginalized communities are policed and raise questions over whether race was a factor in Merzouk’s death.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he believed the “peak” of the violence had passed, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV. Speaking to the mayors of 241 municipalities that have been gripped by protests, Macron promised his “total support.” (CNN)

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