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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

France Paris. Demonstrations against the pension reform. The police used tear gas against the demonstrators

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There was a protest against the pension reform in Paris. The police used tear gas against the aggressive, masked demonstrators. French President Emmanuel Macron said the government would implement this reform in a spirit of dialogue but with determination.

The Parisian demonstration began in the early afternoon in the Place de la République with representatives of eight of the largest trade unions in France, united against the reform. The police used tear gas against the aggressive, masked demonstrators.

Reuters posted a video showing a group of demonstrators dancing to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, singing their own version of the popular song.

Protesters in Paris dance to the song “I will survive”Reuters

Emmanuel Macron, who is in Barcelona, ​​where he met the Prime Minister Spain Pedro Sanchez, said that the plan to change the pension system is “democratically presented and approved” and above all “fair and responsible”.

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During a joint press conference with the Spanish prime minister, the president argued that the authorities would implement it “with respect, in the spirit of dialogue, but with determination and responsibility.”

Macron called on the French to demonstrate peacefully and expressed hope that the strike would take place without violence, vandalism and damage.

Protests in ParisEPA

Protests in ParisPAP/EPA/Yoan Valat

The rulers predicted “hell Thursday”

The French government feared that the protests would lead to riots, so more than 10,000 police and gendarmes, including 3,500 in Paris alone, were mobilized to oversee the demonstrations. Transport Minister Clement Beaune predicted “Hell Thursday”.

It’s going to be “Hell Thursday”. The first such action in 12 years

The strike affected refineries, railways, urban transport, schools, the energy and public sectors, and even some police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 has sparked protests from trade unionists, the opposition left and the far right, with around two-thirds of the French disapproval, according to statistics. The reform plan is still to be debated in parliament, and the ruling coalition can count on the support of the centre-right party there Republicans.

Main photo source: EPA

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