Paris/Nantes In France, the new protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms also turned violent on Tuesday. After a peaceful start in the morning, clashes were reported from Paris, Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse throughout the day. A branch of the bank BNP Paribas was set on fire in Nantes.
Until late in the evening, however, the violence remained below the riots of the previous day of protest on March 23. According to the interior minister, 740,000 people took part in the demonstrations across the country. This would be a significant drop from the record number of just under 1.1 million most recently. The unions announced new protests and strikes for Thursday next week.
You had previously accused the government of refusing to engage in dialogue about the reform. “It’s unbearable that we’re being blocked,” CFDT boss Laurent Berger said at a demonstration in Paris. Most recently, hundreds of thousands of angry French people took to the streets on Thursday against planned measures such as raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.
In Paris, the police used tear gas and stun grenades, according to the government, 123 officers were injured across the country. Macron’s government initiated the reform with a procedural trick that bypassed parliament, thereby exacerbating popular displeasure. Referring to state finances, she declared that the reform absolutely had to be implemented.
More: The President is met with a lot of anger because of his pension reform. France is doing better economically than it has for a long time – thanks to Macron, say economists.