The situation in France intensifies every day, as a consequence of the social protest against the reform in the president’s retirement Emmanuel Macron. This Tuesday will be the tenth consecutive strike, in protest of the measures imposed by the government.
The situation is becoming uncontrollable, to the point that it was ordered that about 5,000 policemen will take to the streets of Paris to “contain” the protest, sharpened every day, in the different links of the French economy. Industrialists, merchants, trade unionists and students, all of them have expressed their resounding rejection of Macron’s economic measures.
France: 10th consecutive strike hits Macron
From the January 19the date of the first demonstration, managed to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people (3.5 million on March 7 and 23, according to the CGT union) in large peaceful protests, but without success.
The last call last Thursday left 457 detainees and 441 police officers and gendarmes injured, mostly in the riots that followed the marches with more than a million people throughout France, according to the authorities.
The images of pitched battle returned to the front page on Saturday during protests against an agricultural dam destined for agribusiness in Sainte-Soline (centre-west), which left two protesters in a coma.
In this context of growing tension, Macron and the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, assured that they would “reach out” to the unions, the spearhead of the protests since January, but without giving in on their demand to withdraw the reform.
The union’s response
Laurent Berger, leader of the moderate CFDT union, said he would agree to negotiate but only if reform was “put aside”, especially the raising of the retirement age from 62 to 64. On Tuesday, he urged the creation of a “mediation process” to “find a way out” of the social crisis.
The union centrals request the withdrawal of this reform that delays the retirement age to 2030 and advances to 2027 the requirement of cotize 43 years (and not 42) to collect a full pension.
For this Tuesday, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced an “unprecedented security device” of 13,000 agents in France and warned of the presence in Paris of “more than 1,000 radicals, some from abroad.”
The authorities expect “from 650,000 to 900,000″ demonstrators” and warn that the presence of young people in the marches “will double or triple,” according to police sources.
Tension rises in the streets
The protests have taken multiple forms for weeks: thousands of tons of garbage accumulated in the streets of Paris, blockades of warehouses and refineries that left 15% of gas stations without fuel, among others.
Awaiting the opinion of the Constitutional Council On its validity, the government seeks to turn the page quickly with other priorities such as health, education and to find how to guarantee a stable majority in Parliament.
The unions had already warned Macron in mid-March of the explosive situation that would be generated if he did not listen to the discontent with the reform, which more than two out of three French people reject, according to polls.
Its definitive adoption on March 20 implied an increase in the intensity of the protests, whose repression by the police set off the alarms of human rights NGOs, lawyers, magistrates and even the Council of Europe.
With information from AFP.-