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Hundreds of thousands of French people in the streets against the pension reform

Hundreds of thousands of French people in the streets against the pension reform

The french unions Hundreds of thousands of people were brought out to the streets this Monday on the occasion of May 1, in a new test of strength against the reform of the pensionsthe thirteenth since the beginning of January.

The leaders of the union centrals, who marched together again (something that had not happened on May 1 since 2009), described as “historical” this mobilization, although a part of the information prominence was once again capitalized by violent groups.

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) indicated that there were 2.3 million protesters throughout the country (550,000 in Paris), which according to its own accounting would be the second day with the highest participation since the movement against the movement began on January 19. pension reform.

Instead, the Interior Ministry counted 782,000 protesters across the country and 112,000 in the capital.

Although the processions took place without incident in the vast majority of the 300 that had been organized throughout the country, there were various altercations in Nantes, Lyon, Toulouse or, above all, in Paris.

In the capital, skirmishes were continuous throughout the entire route of the demonstration between the Plaza de la República and the Plaza de la Nación between the forces of order and radical groups, who smashed shop windows and windows of shops or financial institutions and burned containers and all kinds of street furniture.

Charges, tear gas and water cannons

The police responded with charges, tear gas and the use at the end of the march of trucks with pressurized water cannons to disperse the rioters and also to extinguish a fire in the basement of a building in the Plaza de la Nación.

One of its agents was seriously injured by burns caused by the impact of an incendiary cocktail. Until 5:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT), the authorities had counted 180 detainees throughout the country, of which 53 in Paris.

The forces of order used drones to supervise the parades, an issue that generated controversy in the previous days and that gave rise to judicial appeals to avoid it, on the grounds that these devices would curtail public liberties.

According to the Prefecture (government delegation) of the Rhône department, the use of drones allowed the arrest of about thirty people who caused incidents in Lyon.

A total of 12,000 police officers had been deployed across the country by the Interior Ministry, 5,000 of them in Paris.

Riots that rob unions of leadership

Before the Paris march began, the general secretary of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT, the country’s first union), Laurent Berger, had reiterated his condemnation of “any form of violence against property and people”while asking that this was not the issue that focused attention.

Because the objective of the centrals was, above all, to reiterate their rejection of the pension reform, already promulgated for more than two weeks, which will delay the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 years, which has managed to keep them together.

A unity that may begin to crack, once Berger has said that he will attend the meeting that he hopes the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, will launch in the coming days to discuss other issues, in an attempt by the Government to turn the page on a crisis that has plunged him into a disturbing paralysis.

The general secretary of the CGT (CGT, the country’s second central), Sophie Binet, although she agreed with Berger on the urgency of addressing the revaluation of wages, which are losing purchasing power due to inflation, was less willing to sit down and discuss with the Executive parking the issue of pensions.

That question, and the way to continue the protests, will be at the center of a meeting of all the unions this Tuesday.

Source: EFE

Source: Gestion

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