Pension demonstrators clash with police on second night in Paris | European Union News


The protests over pension reform are the most serious challenge to President Macron’s authority since the 2018 “yellow vest” demonstrations.

Riot police clashed with protesters Second night in Paris As demonstrations against the government plan continued, Raise the pensionable age in France.

A surge of unrest since the beginning of the year, when a wave of strikes and garbage piled up in the streets of the French capital, prompted President Emmanuel Macron to greatest challenge to his authority Since the so-called “Gilets Jaunes” or “Yellow Vest” protests of December 2018.

Police fired tear gas to deal with crowd confusion on Friday night as demonstrators gathered in Place de la Concorde near the Capitol.

“Macron, resign!” chanted some demonstrators as they confronted a line of riot police.

Protests in Paris’ elegant Place de la Concorde began in a festive mood as thousands of demonstrators chanted, danced and lit giant bonfires. But it quickly took to the scene reverberating Thursday night as riot police charged and used tear gas to empty the square and some protesters threw fireworks and threw flagstones at police. degenerated.

On Thursday night, police also charged the crowd with batons and used water cannons in small groups before setting fire to a street in a nearby chic neighborhood.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told radio station RTL that 310 people had been arrested overnight, most of them in Paris.

Sporadic protests also took place in cities across France, from marches in Bordeaux to rallies in Toulouse.

Calais port officials temporarily stopped ferries from crossing the English Channel to Dover. Several university campuses in Paris were put on lockdown, and protesters occupied a busy ring road around the French capital.

Garbage collectors in Paris extended their strike for 12 days, leaving stinking heaps of rubbish piled up in the streets. Striking clean-up workers continued to blockade two of Europe’s largest incinerators and the other one that handles garbage from the capital.

Some of the yellow-vest activists who staged ferocious protests against economic policies during Macron’s first term in office broadcast Friday’s protests in Paris on social media. According to police, the “radicalized yellow vest” is one of the protest march’s troublemakers.

The French have a strong attachment to keeping the official retirement age at 62.

Macron’s government used a special constitution force to push through Above all, the pension reform to gradually raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Philippe Martinez, leader of the CGT union, and Laurent Berger, general secretary of the French Federation of Democratic Labor (CFDT), hold a banner with other demonstrators in Paris, France, March 11, 2023. [File: Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

More than 8 in 10 French citizens are unhappy with the government’s decision to skip a parliamentary vote on changing the retirement age, according to a poll by RTL Radio’s Toluna Harris Interactive, with 65% want the strikes and protests to continue.

Trade unions organizing against the reform have urged demonstrators to keep the peace during further strikes and marches. They also called on people to leave schools, factories, refineries and other workplaces, forcing Macron to abandon his plan to force the French to work two more years until the age of 64 before receiving a full pension. Let

Left-wing and centrist opposition lawmakers introduced a no-confidence motion in parliament on Friday afternoon. But Mr Macron lost an absolute majority in last year’s French parliamentary elections, which was unlikely to happen.

52-year-old psychologist Nathalie Alquier said in Paris that moving forward without a vote would be “a denial of democracy, a complete denial of what’s been going on in the streets for weeks.”

“It’s just unbearable.”

Protests are scheduled for this weekend, and a new day of nationwide strike action is scheduled for next Thursday. called.

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