Protesters throw objects at riot police during a demonstration that turned violent when protestors clashed with police in Paris on Saturday, December 1. At least 110 people were injured.
The president and his ministers must now decide what action to take in response to a turn of events that in its drama and violence has shocked the country.
The government said it would consider a state of emergency in the face of unrest across the country.
Earlier, before leaving Buenos Aires, he told a press conference: 'Violence has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of a legitimate anger... no cause justifies this'. He refused to answer questions on the matter.
The movement began two weeks ago over high fuel prices but has escalated into a general protest against rising living costs.
FRENCH president Emmanuel Macron dashed back from the G20 summit in Argentina to hold an emergency meeting over violent clashes spreading across France. France's failure to quell the anger has led to copycat yellow jacket movements in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Paris police said 412 people were arrested on Saturday during the worst clashes for years in the capital and 378 remained in custody.
"I've worked on monuments around Paris for 20 years and I've never seen anything like this at the Arc de Triomphe".
Interior Minister Castaner attributed the violence to "specialists in sowing conflict, specialists in destruction". A video on social media shows the heavy fence falling on some protesters.
Security officials were locked inside the Interior Ministry for crisis talks for several hours during the afternoon.
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Tear gas was sacked and water cannons were deployed as officers struggled for control.
At the Arc de Triomphe, he saw the graffiti targeting him and his government sprayed on the outside, and inside the devastation in the ticketing and reception areas, which had been ransacked by rioters.
Some 136,000 demonstrators, a lot of them peaceful, were counted across the country on Saturday, the interior ministry said on Sunday. The protesters wear high-vis jackets, which motorists have to carry in their cars by law.
A demonstrator watches a burning vehicle near the Champs-Elysees avenue during a demonstration Saturday, Dec.1, 2018 in Paris. Far-right and far-left leaders Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon called Sunday for new parliamentary elections.
Scuffles have broken out between some French protesters angry over rising taxes and police for a third straight weekend, after small pockets of demonstrators built barricades in the middle of streets in central Paris and lit fires.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Twitter Saturday that 1,500 "troublemakers" had infiltrated a group of about 200 peaceful protesters and had "come to fight" near the Champs Elysées in Paris. They marched on the famed avenue behind a big banner that read "Macron, stop taking us for stupid people".
Undeterred by strictly controlled access to the Champs-Elysees, the scene of serious rioting at a protest a week earlier, mobs dispersed to other central areas, often unprotected.
"It's hard to reach the end of the month".
"Our purchasing power is severely diminishing every day".
"I am totally behind the "Gilets Jaunes"," said George DuPont, a resident in Paris' upscale 16th arrondissement. And the state is asking us to tighten our belts, but they at the contrary live totally above all standard with our money.
So far, at least two people have been killed and 890 people, including 158 security forces, injured, 1,081 detained, and nine protesters sentenced to four months in jail during the ongoing demonstrations since November 17.