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France. Clashes with the police. Protests against the pension reform in France. President Emmanuel Macron in a television speech

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Wednesday is another day of protests in France against the pension reform. Demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and Montpellier, among others. President Emmanuel Macron gave a television interview in which he expressed hope that the new law would come into force by the end of the year. His speech was criticized by the opposition and some protesting circles. “This president doesn’t understand the French,” said Socialist Party secretary Olivier Faure.

On Wednesday evening, demonstrators took to the streets in Lille, Besancon and Montpellier, among others. In Bordeaux, there were clashes between protesters and the police, officers used tear gas. In Paris, on the other hand, people began to gather in Stalingrad Square. During a farmers’ demonstration in Rennes this morning, a tractor drove very close to a police water cannon, almost colliding with it.

The next, ninth “social mobilization day” will take place on Thursday. The strikes will affect many sectors of the French economy, with demonstrations expected in cities across the country.

Train disruptions expected

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On Wednesday, the daily Le Figaro reported that due to the prolonged strikes of workers at French refineries, 13 percent of the country’s petrol stations are currently without petrol or diesel.

French public rail operator SNCF said train services would be severely disrupted on Thursday. The same applies to public transport in the capital, including the subway. Due to the strike of air traffic controllers, the French civil aviation authority (DGAC) asked airlines to cancel 30 percent of flights at Paris-Orly and 20 percent at other airports on Thursday.

Teachers are also on strike

In primary schools, 40-50 percent of teachers are expected to take part in strikes on Thursday. Municipal workers in the capital are also expected to go on strike until Monday, whose protest is already resulting in tons of garbage piling up in Paris. On Monday, there were 9.3 thousand tons.

READ ALSO: Protests in France. Clashes in Place de la République in Paris

Protests in Paris against the government’s pension reformPAP/EPA/YOAN VALAT

Macron: There will be no tolerance for aggression during demonstrations

President on Wednesday Emmanuel Macron gave a television interview in connection with the adopted pension reform. He expressed hope that the new law will come into force by the end of the year. Regarding the protests led by trade unions since January, Macron stated that there would be no tolerance for aggression during demonstrations. At the same time, he stated that the protests themselves, conducted in a peaceful manner, are people’s lawwho do not agree with the policy.

The interview was sharply criticized by the opposition and protesters against the pension reform, which increased the retirement age from 62 to 64. “This president doesn’t understand the French,” said Socialist Party secretary Olivier Faure. Leader of the far-right National Union Marine LePen in turn, accused Macron of having a contemptuous approach (to people) and “losing touch with reality”.

According to the authorities, up to 800,000 people may take part in Thursday’s demonstrations. Law enforcement officials expect riots at the end of the protests.

Main photo source: Getty Images



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