Thursday, September 28, 2023

France pension protests: Crowd clashes with police over government reform by decree



Protesters have clashed with police again in central Paris over the French government’s pension reforms.

Thousands of demonstrators lit fires and some threw firecrackers at police, who used tear gas to disperse them.

It is the second night of unrest since President Emmanuel Macron decided to push through the controversial reforms to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote.

No-confidence motions have been filed against his government in response.

The first was signed by independents and members of the left-wing Nupes coalition in parliament, while a second came from the far-right National Rally party.

Both are expected to be debated early next week.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally MPs in parliament, called the decision to push through the pension changes “a total failure for the government”.

Police made dozens of arrests during the unrest at Place de la Concorde, not far from the parliament building.

Protests also took place on Friday in other French cities – notably Bordeaux, Toulon and Strasbourg.

“We won’t give up,” one demonstrator told AFP news agency. “There’s still hope that the reform can be revoked.”