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Protests against pension reforms in France continue

The protests in France against the government's approach to the controversial pension reform continue.

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Protests against pension reforms in France continue

The protests in France against the government's approach to the controversial pension reform continue. On Friday morning, after a call from the CGT union, commuter traffic was temporarily blocked and obstructed at several exits to the city center on the city motorway in Paris. In some other cities, such as Rennes and Brest, protesters temporarily blocked roads and roundabouts, the newspaper Le Parisien reported. High schools and universities were also partly blocked by protesting young people, such as in Clermont-Ferrand and Lille.

Some refineries have announced renewed or extended strikes, but the supply of fuel to filling stations has not come to a standstill so far. Striking rubbish collectors in Paris, meanwhile, were called on Friday by the police prefect to begin clearing around 9,000 tonnes of piled rubbish from the streets. The disabilities in local public transport and the French railways remained manageable on Friday. In Toulon in southern France, however, demonstrators occupied train tracks and brought train traffic to a standstill, the broadcaster BFMTV reported.

On Thursday evening, 217 people were arrested by the police. In the center of the French capital, riots broke out on the Place de la Concorde, the channel “France Info” reported. A fire is said to have been lit in front of Parliament.

According to police sources, 217 people were arrested, as reported by the dpa news agency. According to media reports, the riot police used water cannon and tear gas to clear the square. Among other things, demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets and threw objects at the police officers. A total of around 6000 participants were counted.

The French government under Emmanuel Macron made a short decision on Thursday afternoon to push through the controversial pension reform without the actual vote in the National Assembly. She resorted to a special article in the constitution to implement President Macron's most important reform project. This increases the retirement age from 62 to 64 years. The concern was that not enough MPs would agree to the reform.

Protests also broke out in other French cities such as Marseille, Dijon, Nantes, Rennes, Rouen, Grenoble, Toulouse and Nice. In Marseille, demonstrators devastated several shops. According to AFP reporters, there were also clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Nantes, Rennes and Lyon.

The unions have called for a new nationwide day of strikes and protests for next Thursday. Millions of people had already taken to the streets against the reform project. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin instructed the police to give special protection to MPs in the face of the ongoing protests. The parliamentarians are exposed to threats, insults and damage to property, the minister wrote, as reported by "France Info".

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