New day of massive protests in France. thousands of protesters they have sowed chaos again in the main cities of the country by the Macron plan, approved by decree and bypassing Parliament, to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
During the early hours of Thursday through Friday, groups of anarchists from the “Black Block” broke shop windows, demolished street furniture and looted a McDonald’s restaurant. During the previous day, protesters blocked access to an airport terminal, sat on the train tracks, clashed with the police and threw projectiles at a Gendarmerie station.
Thus begins the tenth day of protests throughout the country, after a ninth in which, according to the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, 149 police officers were injured and 172 people were arrested in all the country. Dozens of protesters were also injured, including a woman who lost a thumb in the Normandy city of Rouen.
During this Thursday, train and plane trips were blocked and many professionals did not go to their jobs, including teachers. Riots have also been protagonists. Officers have fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the western city of Nantes. In Rennes, they have used water cannons, according to BFM TV images, and in the west of Lorient, the Ouest-France newspaper has assured that the projectiles caused a brief fire in the courtyard of a police station.
The anger of French citizens has been evident in scattered points of the French territory. Roissy-Charles De Gaulle airport, on the outskirts of Paris, was affected by the workers’ lockout. Near Toulouse, in the southwest, piles of burning rubble blocked traffic on a highway and raised columns of smoke into the sky.
“There is a lot of anger, an explosive situation”, has assured the leader of the CGT union, Philippe Martínez, at the beginning of a rally in Paris. Union leaders have called for calm, but have shown their anger with what they have considered “provocative” comments by the president, Emmanuel Macron. The unions thus fear that the protests will become even more violent if the government does not pay attention to the growing popular anger.
In this regard, they have called for regional actions over the weekend and new strikes and protests across the country on March 28, the day King Charles of Great Britain you must travel to Bordeaux from Paris by train.
However, for the moment, the president of the republic has only broken his silence to consolidate his position. He did it this Wednesday in an interview in which he insisted that he would stand firm and that the law would take effect at the end of the year, and compared the protests in the country with the assault on the Capitol of the United States on January 6, 2021.
Numerous surveys have revealed in data what is manifested in the French streets: the majority of citizens oppose delaying retirement age two years to 64.
However, Macron has decided to go ahead with his government’s decision, which sparked even more controversy by announcing that the changes in the pension model would not go through parliament, since they would be approved by decree without the need for a vote.
The French Interior Ministry counted more than a million protesters across the country on Thursday, a record since the protests began in January. The CGT union raises the figure and ensures that 3.5 million people marched in the countrymatching the previous record set on March 7.
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