French protesters take to the streets again against Macron’s pension plan

Demonstrators in France took to the streets on Saturday for a seventh day of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans, with police expecting up to a million people at rallies across the country.

Unions are hoping they can still compel Macron to back down while Parliament debates the bill, with the National Assembly and Senate heading for a final vote as early as this month.

“This is the final stage,” said Marylise Leon, vice president of the CFDT union. “The final is now,” she told franceinfo on Saturday.

Twice this week, Macron turned down urgent calls from unions to meet with him in a last-ditch effort to get him to change his mind.

“When there are millions of people on the streets, when there are strikes and we only get silence from the other side, people ask themselves: What else do we have to do to be heard?” said Philippe Martinez, head of Hard – Leftist CGT union.

“The leaders of this country must stop denying this social movement,” CFDT chief Laurent Berger said on Saturday.

Police said they expected between 800,000 and a million people at 230 planned demonstrations across France, with up to 100,000 likely to march in Paris.

It was the second day of protests to be declared over a weekend, and unions hoped protesters would show up in larger numbers if they didn’t have to take a day off.

– ‘Children’s future’ –

“I’m here to fight for my colleagues and for our youth,” said Claude Jeanvoine, 63, a retired train driver who was demonstrating in Strasbourg, eastern France.

“People shouldn’t let the government get away with this, it’s about the future of their children and grandchildren,” he told AFP.

According to the police, the turnout for the last major day of strikes and protests on Tuesday was almost 1.3 million people, and more than three million, according to the unions.

Several sectors of the French economy have been the target of union calls for indefinite strikes, including rail and air transport, power plants, natural gas terminals and waste collection.

On Saturday in Paris, there were first signs that urban transport was hardly affected by any interruptions, with the exception of a few S-Bahn lines.

The capital’s main demonstration was scheduled to begin around 2 p.m. (1300 GMT).

The French Senate, meanwhile, early Saturday resumed debate on the reform, the main measure of which is to raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64.

The senators have until Sunday evening to complete their deliberations, when a commission is to draw up a final version of the bill, which will be submitted to both chambers of parliament for a final vote.

If Macron’s government fails to secure a majority before the vote, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne could use a rarely used constitutional tool known as Article 49/3 to pass the law without a vote.

An opinion poll published by broadcaster BFMTV on Saturday showed that 63 percent of French people approve of the protests against the reform and 54 percent also support the strikes and blockades in some sectors.

However, around 78 percent said they believe Macron will eventually push through the reform.

burs-jh/bp French protesters take to the streets again against Macron’s pension plan

Sportsasff is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button