World, Europe

Clashes as new wave of pension protests sweeps France

Labor union says over 1M took to streets across France, government places nationwide figure at 380,000

Nur Asena Erturk  | 13.04.2023 - Update : 13.04.2023
Clashes as new wave of pension protests sweeps France


Violence erupted during massive nationwide protests in France on Thursday against the government’s contentious pension reforms.

Some 380,000 people took to the streets across France, including 42,000 in Paris, according to Interior Ministry figures.

The General Labor Confederation (CGT) placed the figure much higher at more than 1 million, including 400,000 in the capital.

On the 12th day of nationwide demonstrations since January, protests were also held in several cities such as Lyon, Nantes, and Marseille.

The latest round of protests came as President Emmanuel Macron refuses to back down on the unpopular measures, with the Constitutional Council set to rule on the legality of the government’s bill on Friday.

As in previous rounds, some groups infiltrated the protests in Paris, vandalizing street fixtures and shop fronts, according to an Anadolu correspondent on the ground.

Police clashed with those groups, using tear gas and water cannons as the other side hurled projectiles at them.

However, tear gas was also fired at peaceful protesters, according to the Anadolu correspondent.

At least 10 police officers were wounded in Paris, one of them seriously, according to French daily Le Figaro.

Earlier, a group of protesters – members of the SudRail trade union – barged into the office of the multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH in Paris, the daily reported.

They chanted slogans and left without causing any damage, the report said.

The move was a symbolic one urging the government to take more money from the rich, as LVMH’s founder Bernard Arnault is currently the world’s wealthiest man, it added.

In anticipation of more protests, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has banned demonstrations near the Constitutional Council until at least Friday evening.

The government unveiled the reforms proposal in January and it was taken up for parliamentary debate the following month.

Workers and trade unions have vehemently opposed the reforms, which include raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030, and requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for a full pension.

Unrest in France intensified in mid-March when Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne used special constitutional powers to force the plan through without parliamentary approval.

The move sparked protests across France, where police were accused of making arbitrary arrests and using excessive force against demonstrators.

*Umit Donmez in Paris contributed to this story

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın