Protesters took to the streets of France again in protest against the pension reform

President Emmanuel Macron wants to change the retirement age from 62 to 64 from 2030; The leader’s refusal to meet with union representatives increased tension in the country

THIBAUD MORITZ / AFPdemonstrations in France
A protester holds a French flag that reads “Hey Manu – to the President of France Emmanuel Macron – there’s only one thing left between you and us: cross the road!!” taking part in a demonstration as part of the 7th national day of strikes and protests called by trade unions against the proposed pension reform

Hundreds of protesters returned to the streets France this Saturday, the 11th, to protest against the pension reform that the president Emmanuel Macron to implement in place and change the retirement age from 62 to 64 in 2030, except that in 2027 it will bring the contribution obligation to 43 years (and not 42 as at present) for the retiree to receive the full pension . According to polls, two thirds of the French are against this change. An estimated 300,000 people protested in the capital, a far smaller number than on Tuesday, when the country registered more than 1.8 million protesters. The French’s rejection has been demonstrated in several protests since January 19, as well as transport and energy strikes. So far, however, the actions have failed to provoke the withdrawal of the project, which is being debated in the Senate (upper house) and must still go to the National Assembly (lower house) for a final vote. Wednesday the 8th, The French Senate approved the key article of a project to reform the pension system. To enter into force, the initiative must be approved by both houses of the Parliament by the next 26th. Tensions over the reform came to a head this week after Macron refused to accept meetings with union representatives, which provoked “a lot of irritation,” according to Philippe Martinez, leader of the CGT union. This Saturday, unions called the strike in hopes of attracting more workers and hoping to force Macron to back down from his initiative. “When millions of people are on the streets, when there are strikes and all you get from the other side is silence, people ask: What else do we have to do to be heard?” Martinez said, before calling for a referendum on pension reform.

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