At least a hundred arrests were made last night in anti-government protests in France against the approval by decree of the pension reform, which increases the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 years. However, this number is lower than in previous days. Thursday nighta few hours after the approval of the reform, there were more than 200 throughout the country.
In Paris, there were 81 detainees at the end of a demonstration on the Place d’Italie, a place chosen instead of the Place de la Concorde, where the authorities had prohibited any protest for the unrest from previous nights. They were joined by dozens of others arrested in the Plaza de la Concordia itself.
At the end of the march, in which slogans against Macron’s “authoritarianism” were heard, there were burning containers and raising barricades. For their part, the Police responded with tear gas to the launching of projectiles by some protesters. In Place d’Italie it is estimated that at least 4,000 participants gathered. while, in Lyon 17 were arrested in a small protest of between 400 and 500 people.
The pension reform has further sunk the popularity of French President Emmanuel Macron, and currently only 28% of the French approve of his managementthe lowest level of his mandates comparable to that of the ‘Yellow Vests’ crisis, the popular revolt that in 2018 put him on the ropes.
However, the Executive does not show signs of backing down. His number two, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, assured in an interview with ‘Le Parisien’ that the reform “will come into force” and warned that no type of violence will be “tolerated” in the protests.
The Government itself is facing two motions of censure on Monday presented by a group of centrists and regionalists, supported by the left, and another by the extreme right. However, both initiatives have little chance of prospering, in the event that the conservative formation Los Republicanos (LR) manages to maintain the voting discipline that they did not achieve on the 16th when the Executive, in a relative minority, was forced to activate the article 49.3 due to the absence of a clear majority in the Assembly.
Meanwhile, the union strikes against the reform continue their course. Several refineries are blocked and the stoppages in the collection of garbage in Paris are felt. Despite the fact that the Government has imposed the return of some workers for reasons of public health, thousands of tons of garbage accumulate still on the sidewalks. The Paris City Hall, which supports the strike and does not cooperate with the government, estimated that the number of waste has stabilized at 10,000 tons.
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