France pension reform protests continue as over 960,000 people took part in nationwide protests against French Pension Reforms by President Emmanuel Macron’s on Saturday. The demonstrations were held in cities such as Paris, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Nantes and others, with over 93,000 participants counted in the French capital alone. The protests were attended by young people and others opposed to the reforms who couldn’t attend previous weekday demonstrations.
These protests come as a response to the French government’s plan to raise the minimum retirement age for a full state pension from 62 to 64. The proposed reforms have been met with opposition from a wide range of people, including young people and students who fear the impact the reforms will have on their families.
Despite the protests, the government remains determined to push through the reforms, which they see as necessary for the long-term survival of the pension system. In comparison to other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, France currently spends more years in retirement than most.
The demonstrations were largely peaceful, with a few isolated incidents of unrest. However, police arrested eight people for various infractions, including possession of a firearm and vandalism.
While rail worker strikes did not accompany the demonstrations, an unexpected strike by air traffic controllers resulted in the cancellation of up to half of flights to and from Paris’ second largest airport, Orly.
In the face of growing opposition, labor unions and left-wing legislators are now putting pressure on the government to scrap the bill. Unions have issued a joint statement calling the government “deaf” and threatening to cause a nationwide “shutdown” if their demands are not met.
If ongoing France Pension Reform Protests Continue the government faces a potentially lengthy political battle in parliament. With opinion polls consistently showing opposition to the reforms, it remains to be seen how the situation will unfold in the coming weeks and months.