Police Deploy Tear Gas As Protests over Pension Reform Continue in France (+Video)

Police Deploy Tear Gas As Protests over Pension Reform Continue in France (+Video)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Demonstrators in Paris were met with tear gas canisters and flash-bang grenades from police as protests against the unpopular pension reforms continued.

Train services were disrupted and some schools shut down while garbage piled up on the streets of France on Thursday, marking the ninth nationwide day of strikes against the bill to raise the pension age.

Protests were planned across the country, with some early morning rallies already taking place. The hardline CGT union's Philippe Martinez said, "The best response we can give the president is that there are millions of people on strike and in the streets."

President Emmanuel Macron's government pushed the legislation through parliament without a vote last week, despite widespread anger across the country.



The pension policy changes include raising the retirement age by two years to 64 and accelerating an increase in the number of years one must work to draw a full pension. While most protests have been peaceful, anger has been mounting since the government passed the bill without a vote. The past seven nights have seen spontaneous demonstrations in Paris and other cities, with rubbish bins set ablaze and scuffles with police.

Labour unions have said that Thursday's day of strikes and protests will draw huge crowds against what they describe as Macron's "scorn" and "lies." Laurent Berger, the head of France's biggest union, the moderate CFDT, told BFM TV that the government must withdraw the pension law.

Polls show a wide majority of French people oppose the pension legislation as well as the government's decision to push it through parliament without a vote.

Electricity power supply was reduced on Thursday as part of rolling strikes in the sector, and the government has renewed a requisition order requiring some employees to return to work at the Fos-sur-Mer fuel depot in southern France to secure petrol supplies for the region.

The latest wave of protests represents the most serious challenge to the president's authority since the "Yellow Vest" revolt four years ago.

Meanwhile, protests have continued across the country on other issues as well. Protesters blocked a highway near Toulouse in southwestern France in the early morning and a bus depot in the west, in Rennes, Le Parisien newspaper said.

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