Demonstrations around France against rising retirement age law
On Monday, France witnessed mass demonstrations on the occasion of Labor Day, and continued protests against the demonstration law approved by French President Emmanuel Macron without a parliamentary vote.
The General Confederation of Labor announced in a statement that the number of participants in protests across the country amounted to about 2.3 million people.
The volume of participation made the first of May of this year “the highest participation in the history of the demonstrations organized in the country during that occasion”.
The CNT – one of the unions calling for the protests – noted that the demonstrations took place at 310 assembly points across the country.
In turn, the French Interior Ministry said, in statements that it had monitored the participation of 782,000 people in all the protests that organized across the country.
Confrontations between the protesters and the security forces resulted in the injury of 108 people from the police and gendarmerie forces, without revealing any injuries among the demonstrators.
In the context, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in televised statements that the police arrested 291 people because of protests across the country, including 90 in Paris alone.
He pointed out that most of the arrests and interrogations carried out in Paris near the Nation Square in response to the protesters’ acts of violence, including a fire in one of the buildings surrounding the Nation Square.
He said the penalties would be severe against violators.
French media reports talked about the use of water cannons by the French police to disperse the demonstrators who gathered in the Nation Square in the capital, Paris.
Pictures taken of the demonstrators showed slogans calling for Macron to leave.
Photographic reports monitored the outbreak of a fire near the Nation Square.
The French unions expected 1.5 million people to participate in the protests, while the French authorities said that the number would not exceed 650,000 demonstrators.
It is noteworthy that between 25 and 33% of flights at France’s largest airports have been canceled due to the protests.
Since the beginning of this year, France has been experiencing a social and political crisis, against the backdrop of protests rejecting President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform the retirement law, whose main clause provides for raising the retirement age to 64 years instead of 62 years, which was what was in practice before.
Last March, Macron’s government used special constitutional powers to force changes to the country’s pension system without a vote in parliament.