France witnessed the fourteenth day of protest mobilization against reforming the retirement system, which is not popular with the majority of citizens, but the demonstrations appeared to be less than expected on Tuesday. The head of the French Democratic Union of Labor, Laurent Berger, acknowledged that “the confrontation is on its way to an end.”
Opponents of France’s pension reform law called for a new day of mobilization on Tuesday against the text that raised the retirement age from 62 to 64 in April after months of widespread protests.
About 250 demonstrations and marches are expected across France in response to the call of the unions to protest against the reform that President Emmanuel Macron adhered to and that Parliament approved without a vote.
But after weeks of protests marked by widespread demonstrations and strikes, mobilization appeared less than expected on Tuesday.
The head of the French Democratic Union of Labor, Laurent Berger, acknowledged that “the confrontation is on its way to an end,” despite his fierce opposition to the amendment.
In contrast to previous mobilization days, few disruptions were reported at schools and on transport, even after a third of flights from Orly airport in the capital were cancelled.
The trade union federations confirmed not to “turn the page”, but it seems that some have acknowledged defeat and are trying to look forward.
Berger considered that the fourteenth day of mobilization should work to “show the strength of the trade union movement to overcome the challenges facing us,” especially “purchasing power, wages, housing, and working conditions.”
About 11,000 police and gendarmerie were mobilized, including 4,000 in Paris, and clashes broke out between them and demonstrators in Marseille, Nantes and Toulouse.
Police fired gas bombs at protesters, who pelted them with projectiles and set rubbish bins on fire.
This day of new mobilization comes two days before a bill is to be considered in parliament aimed at repealing the reform law, but this initiative does not stand a chance of success.
While France is one of the European countries where the retirement age is considered among the lowest, but with very different systems, the government justified its project by the need to respond to the decline in the finances of pension funds and the aging of the population.