The French unions convened on Tuesday a massive mobilization in the main cities of the country against the pension reform promoted by President Emmanuel Macron. The project you are looking for increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 years began to be debated last Thursday in the Senate and was strongly rejected by a large part of the population.
The protests against this initiative they began on January 19 and since that date there have already been six days of paralysis of the main activities in the country. “We have managed to show the determination of the world of work,” said the leader of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), Laurent Berger, who also highlighted a “historic mobilization” at the start of the demonstration in Paris, the AFP agency reported. Besides He maintained that the government “cannot continue turning a deaf ear.”
As estimated by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), The mobilization this Tuesday summoned 700,000 protesters, 200,000 more than on January 31 when the largest mobilization against a social reform in three decades was registered and that throughout the country it gathered between 1.27 and 2.8 million demonstrators.
“We won’t give up we have to shock the government to relentsaid Patrick, a 61-year-old rail retiree.
Macron’s pension reform: a great controversy in France
One of the main promises in the electoral campaign of Emmanuel Macronwho was re-elected as president of France in 2022, was raise the retirement age to 64 years although the proposal generated many detractors. This measure puts a large part of his political credibility at risk, after the pandemic forced him to abandon a previous reform during his first term, also marked by the social protest of the “yellow vests”.
But two out of three French people, according to polls, They remain opposed to the Liberal president’s project to delay the retirement age from 62 to 64 years by 2030 and advance the requirement to contribute 43 years to 2027 (and not 42, as now) to collect a full pension. A majority supports the strikes.
Aware that a lot is also at stake in this fight and without being able to condition the government in these weeks of fighting, the unions redoubled their commitment with the aim of “paralyzing” the second largest economy in the European Union.
But beyond union intentions, the economic impact of the strikes will be “limited”according to ING bank analysts, for whom, even in the event of long blockades, it will not be more than 0.2 percentage points of GDP.
Demonstrations in France: What services do they affect?
Since January 19, France has experienced the most massive protests in recent times and affected many of the country’s transport services. The routes from Rennes (west) to Perpignan (south) were cut and all service stations closed. In addition, there were canceled flights, trains without service and schools without classes.
A fifth of the flights were canceled at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and around a third of flights were canceled at Orly airport.
The protest also affected the train service to Germany and Spain, and those going to and from Great Britain and Belgium were reduced by a third, according to the railway authority SNCF. Most of the high-speed and regional trains did not work.
Public transport it was discontinued in most French cities.
In Annonay (southeast), stronghold of the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, more than 2,000 homes were left without electricity, indicated the company Enedis. Others possible “wild” supply cuts were registered in Boulogne-sur-Mer and Neuville-en-Ferrain (north).
On Monday, the strikers already paralyzed three of the four methane terminals for “seven days” and, since Friday, they have brought down electricity production in the nuclear sector, with a program of renewable strikes.