Connect with us

    🌎 Global

    Protests in France amid anger over Macron’s pension reforms.

    Protests in France amid anger over Macron's pension reforms.

    There have been refinery strikes and demonstrations across France against the government’s increase in the state pension age. There have been refinery strikes across France, and more protests are taking place across the country amid growing anger over the government’s rise in the state pension age. The growing unrest, coupled with littering the streets of Paris after a parliamentary vote by inactive activists, has given President Emmanuel Macron the biggest challenge to his authority since the so-called “Gilets Jaunes” or yellow vest protests. The challenge has been abandoned. Started in late 2018. 37 percent of operational staff at Total Energy’s refineries and depots – at sites including Fezzen in southeastern France and Normandy in the north – were on strike Saturday, a company spokesman said. The strike continues on the railways. Riot police clashed with protesters in Paris on Friday evening as a demonstration took place in the Place de la Concorde near the National Assembly building. Sixty-one people were arrested. This led the Paris prefecture to ban rallies on the Place de la Concorde and the nearby Champs-Élysées. Police said they were doing so “due to serious threats to disturb public order”. However, another rally was expected on Saturday at the Place d’Italie in southern Paris. Elsewhere in the French capital, a group of students and activists from the Perpetual Revolution collective briefly stormed the Forum des Halles shopping mall, waving banners calling for a general strike and chanting, “Paris, stand up! Stand up!” ,” the videos showed on social media. People marched in towns and cities across the country after regional unions called for weekend demonstrations. BFM television also showed images of ongoing protests in cities including Marseille, Compignac and Nantes. “There is no place for violence. One must respect parliamentary democracy,” Digital Transition and Telecommunications Minister Jean-Noel Birot told Sid Radio. Ariane Laget, 36, was among about 200 people protesting in the small southern town of Lodio. “We are fed up. We feel like we are being trampled on and no one is listening,” he told the AFP news agency. A broad coalition of France’s central unions has said it will remain active in trying to force a U-turn on pension changes. A nationwide day of industrial action is planned for Thursday. People are protesting in Nantes, France. [Stephane Mahe/Reuters]
    Eight days of nationwide protests and many local industrial actions since mid-January have so far been largely peaceful, but the last three days of unrest have been reminiscent of the Yellow Jackets protests, which were sparked by high fuel prices. And Macron was forced to remain partly peaceful. – Turn on the carbon tax. Macron’s overhaul raises the pension age by two years to 64, which the government says is necessary to ensure the system does not collapse. The government has said the change is necessary to prevent the system from going into deficit and brings France in line with its European neighbours, where the legal retirement age is generally higher. But critics say the changes are unfair to people who start working at a younger age in physically demanding jobs and women who interrupt their careers to raise children.