Refineries strikes continued in France on Saturday, March 18, 2023, and more protests took place across the country amid anger over government pressure to raise the retirement age without a parliamentary vote.
With unrest growing alongside rubbish piling up on the streets of Paris after sanitation workers joined the strikes, President Emmanuel Macron faces the most serious challenge to his authority since the so-called yellow vest protests in December 2018.
A spokesman for Total Energies said about 37 percent of operational staff at the company’s refineries and depots in France went on strike on Saturday.
Meanwhile strikes continued to rotate in the railway sector. French riot police clashed with demonstrators on Friday evening in Paris, where a demonstration took place in the Place de la Concorde near the Parliament building, resulting in the arrest of 61 people.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government wants to raise the retirement age from two years to 64, and the government says this is necessary to ensure that the system does not go bankrupt.