French police clashed with hundreds of black-clad anarchists in Paris and other cities during protests organized by unions in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to increase the retirement age. On Labour Day, workers held protests across Europe.
Demonstrators attacked Paris police with Molotov cocktails and fireworks. Also, they destroyed bus stops and set building materials on fire. As police responded with tear gas and batons, the peaceful protesters booed officers.
Emergency services used water cannons to put out a fire which had charred the windows of nearby apartments. An officer was severely injured when a fiery projectile hit him.
There was violence in Lyon and Nantes, as well. Some cars were set ablaze and businesses trashed. Nearly 200 people were arrested by the interior ministry on a day when 782 000 people were in the streets.
Macron increased the retirement age from 60 to 64 in November despite strikes across multiple sectors. This decision sank Macron’s popularity to levels comparable to those during the Yellow Vest Crisis of 2018 and 2019.
He has beenstrong> a class=”text__text__1FZLe text__dark-grey__3Ml43 text__medium__1kbOh text__large__nEccO link__underline_default__2prE_” data-testid=”Link” has encountered him on walkabouts designed to regain support by heckling and pot banging.
Let’s say it doesn’t work. “Much better!” said sculptor Antoine Eveillo.
The unions demanded a higher turnout in order to force Macron’s government to make a U-turn. Macron forced his pension bill through the National Assembly, despite the fact that it did not have a majority.
The majority of French citizens are opposed to raising the retirement age.
Sophie Binet, of the CGT (a hard-left union), said: “The executive can’t rule without the people’s support.”
RETIREMENT BEFORE ARTHRITIS
Binet said that the CGT had not decided yet if it would participate in discussions about other labour topics, such as salaries and conditions of work or hardship benefits.
Laurent Berger of the moderate CFDT said that his union will take part in this discussion.
Berger snubbed the notion that a coalition of major unions would be put to the test after the pension bill is signed into law.
The French social security system is heavily dependent on the pension system. The banner reads “Retirement Before arthritis!” A banner with the words “Retirement Before Arthritis!” was displayed. The fact that people were told to keep working was a source of disgust for many.
The three largest unions in Italy, and other parts of Europe have protested against the package of labour laws that was approved by Prime Minister Giorgia Melon’s right-wing government.
During a Zurich march, Swiss demonstrators sprayed paint and threw waterballons towards the police.
Macron says that the French Reform will help to strengthen the generous pension system of France, one of the world’s most industrialized countries.
French Pensionsare higher in percentage. A Frenchman spends more time in retirement.
Michel Maingy is a retired metalworker who believes that the fight for pensions has been lost. He stated that even though there are still battles left to be won in the negotiations over working conditions, he believed that the fight for pensions had been lost.
He said that “we must keep our head up” before the protests in Nantes.
The hardening of the political opposition could hinder Macron’s agenda. The employment bill would force people who receive minimum welfare benefits work or undergo training for at least 20 hours per week.
Fitch lowered the sovereign credit rating of France by one notch to ‘AA+” on Friday. They cited social unrest as well as a possible political impasse.
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