Hundreds of people were arrested in France during protests against the pension reforms that were sometimes overshadowed by violence. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin spoke of 457 arrests on CNews on Friday. About 440 police officers and gendarmes were injured in the riots. In Paris alone there were around 900 fires on the fringes of the protests. There have been attacks on several public buildings. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne called the violence and damage unacceptable. Protests against the controversial pension reform also led to riots in other cities.
A fire was kindled in the entrance area of the town hall in Bordeaux, southern France. The portal of a colonnade leading to the forecourt of the town hall was damaged, said a spokeswoman for the responsible prefecture of the German Press Agency on Thursday evening. A man was arrested.
Since the center government under President Emmanuel Macron pushed through the controversial pension reform last week without a vote by the National Assembly, there has been an increase in violence during protests. Unions had again called for a major day of strikes and demonstrations on Thursday. The mood in some cities was already tense during the day.
Pension reform is considered one of President Macron's key projects. The government wants to gradually raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 years. In addition, the number of payment years required for a full pension should increase more quickly. This is intended to avert an imminent hole in the pension fund. The unions consider the project unfair and brutal. The text has been approved, but is still with the Constitutional Council for review. Macron wants the reform to come into force by the end of the year.
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