Hundreds of thousands are again expected to protest against the pension reform in France. After past riots, the police sent a large contingent onto the streets.
In France, the unions have again called for strikes and rallies this Tuesday against President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform. The authorities expected around 650,000 to 900,000 participants for the tenth day of nationwide protests.
Significantly greater participation by pupils and students was also expected. The protests, which have been peaceful for weeks, have recently been overshadowed by massive violence and clashes. In Paris, the police asked owners to close their shops along the demonstration route.
Cabinet meeting scheduled
Despite the ongoing protests, the government in Paris is not yet in sight. Macron discussed the situation with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and the heads of the governing parties on Monday. Macron did not want to put the reform to the test, media reports later quoted participants. Macron was quoted as saying that the hand to the unions remains outstretched to advise on other aspects of the world of work. Meanwhile, Macron and the government are meeting for the cabinet meeting today instead of Wednesday as usual. The pension dispute should be an issue again.
Because of the planned protests, France recently saw itself forced to cancel a planned state visit by British King Charles III. to cancel.
Massive police presence
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced that 13,000 police officers will be mobilized across the country today. 5,500 of the officials are said to be on duty in Paris. These are unprecedented security measures in the face of abuse and violence in previous protests. Around 1,000 left-wing extremists, some of whom are also from abroad, who are known to the police, would possibly mix with the demonstrators in Paris and other large cities on Tuesday, Darmanin said. The minister called on the demonstrators to distance themselves from violent criminals.
After allegations of police violence during the recent pension protests, 17 investigations have been launched against civil servants, the interior minister said. He called on the police this Tuesday not to respond to any provocation during the protests and defended the officers against blanket allegations. Also in the ranks of the police there are quite a few against the pension reform.
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