France: Riots during protests against pension reform


France: Riots during protests against pension reform

Rescue workers and a protester with a placard reading 'Macron, robber of the poor' march during a Labor Day demonstration in Paris.

Rescue workers and a protester with a placard reading ‘Macron, robber of the poor’ march during a Labor Day demonstration in Paris.

Photo: Aurelien Morissard/AP/dpa

Hundreds of thousands demonstrate in France on May 1st against President Macron’s pension reform. There are also riots. The police arrest hundreds of people.

Paris. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in France on May 1 against President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform, which often led to riots. There were arrests and injuries in Paris and other major cities, and the police used tear gas. Demonstrators set fire to cars and garbage cans, and smashed windows from banks and shops.

540 people were arrested nationwide. 305 of the arrests were made in Paris, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told BFMTV on Tuesday morning. 406 police officers were injured in the operations, 259 of them in the capital. With the evaluation of camera images, attempts will be made to identify those responsible who threw a Molotov cocktail at an officer, who suffered severe burns as a result. 61 demonstrators were also injured in the clashes, 31 of them in Paris.

The trade unions in France used the May Day rallies for renewed mass protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform. The authorities spoke of 782,000 participants nationwide at around 300 rallies. According to union figures, there were 2.3 million people. There were riots in Paris, Lyon and Nantes, among others.

The vast majority of the demonstrators remained peaceful, of course, said Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. But especially in Paris, Lyon and Nantes, law enforcement officers faced extremely violent rioters who came with one goal: to kill police officers and attack other people’s property.

Pressed through with special paragraphs

The last nationwide protests against the pension reform took place two weeks ago, after Macron officially raised the retirement age from 62 to 64. The fact that the government pushed through the reform without a vote in parliament, using a special paragraph, also causes resentment. Rallies on May Day in France usually gather between 100,000 and 160,000 people across the country. Now, however, the trade unions had declared May 1st to be another day of protest against the president’s reform.

Macron’s center government would like to see the pension reform that has now been decided as over, but the unions and parts of the opposition are continuing to protest to prevent its implementation from September 1st.

The question now is whether the May Day demonstrations will be the last major rallies against pension reforms. The number of participants had already been declining beforehand, and there are also signs that the common front of the trade unions is breaking up. For the first time in years, the major trade unions had joined forces in the fight against the reform. However, when it comes to the question of whether and when to go back to the government’s offers for dialogue, a different course is emerging.

Macron’s government wants other issues quickly

Macron and his government are hoping to calm the situation and want to move on to other issues as quickly as possible. In order to regain more trust among the population, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne presented a 100-day program with improvement steps in areas such as education, health and internal security on Wednesday. As with the pension reform, the government is in a bind, having lost an absolute majority in parliament since last summer’s elections. Borne therefore postponed a new migration law until the fall.

More articles from this category can be found here: Abroad

© dpa-infocom, dpa:230501-99-518899/5 (dpa)

#France #Riots #protests #pension #reform
More From Shayari.Page

Leave a Comment