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France: Strikes and protests for the ninth day against the pension reform law


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The trade unions in France have announced that Thursday, March 23, 2023 will be another day of nationwide strikes and demonstrations. To be the ninth day of protest against the pension reform law.

French workers, angry about raising the retirement age, blocked the way to a lounge at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday, as part of nationwide protests, forcing some travelers to head there on foot.

Train services were disrupted, some schools closed, rubbish piled up in the streets and electricity generation was disrupted as unions stepped up pressure on the government to withdraw a law extending the retirement age from two years to 64.

Plumes of smoke were seen rising from piles of burning debris blocking traffic on a motorway near Toulouse in southwest France, and strikes also briefly closed roads in other cities.

A spokesman for Aéroports de Paris said the protest near Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport had not affected flights.

Protest rallies are scheduled across the country later in the day, while other protests have targeted oil depots and shut down an LNG terminal in the northern city of Dunkirk. President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the law, which the government passed in parliament without a vote last week, would enter into force at the end of the year despite growing anger in the country.

“The best response we can give to the president is for millions of people to participate in the strikes and take to the streets,” said Felipe Martinez, leader of the CNT.

Protests against the changes, which also included an increase in the number of working years so that a citizen can receive a full pension, have drawn huge crowds in union-organized demonstrations since January.

The latest wave of protests represents the biggest challenge to the president’s authority since the “yellow vest” protests four years ago. Opinion polls show that the majority of the French oppose the pension law, as well as the government’s decision to pass it in Parliament without a vote.

Labor Minister Olivier Dusupet said the government did not deny the state of tension in the country but wanted to press ahead with the changes.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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