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Political Turmoil in France over Pension Reforms

The French government’s pension reforms created turmoil in the country. People in massive numbers have come out and hit the road twice. On Friday, streets were reverberating with the shouts of protesters, “Marcon, Resign!”


On the second night of the agitation, thousands of protesters lit fires and took on the police at Paris’ Place de la Concorde, adjacent to the Assemblee Nationale parliament building. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, whereas some people lit firecrackers and threw them toward the cops. 


The reason for this riot is the controversial reform dictated by President Emmanuel Macron. Premier Emmanuel Macron pushed the reform without a vote to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64. In response, he has been facing no-confidence motions.


Emmanuel Macron is the eighth president of the Fifth Republic of France, elected in 2017.  He’s also one of the two princes of Andora. The Amiens-born president launched a movement, “En Marche.” The motion was founded in 2016 and gained tremendous popularity in France.

Protests against France Government

Members and independents of the left wings NUPE (New Ecological and Social People’s Union) coalition with National Rally (NR) party members signed the petition. The change in pension reform is called a “total failure for the government” by the National Rally party member of parliament and leader Marine Le Pen.


Police arrested various overzealous protesters in front of the parliament building. However, the protesters chanted, “We won’t give up.” Demonstrators told to Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency that they would never give up and there was hope for the reform to be revoked. 


Another demonstrator said that the action of president Emmanuel is against democracy. Another one told the Reuters news agency that the government's actions are a “total denial of what has been happening in the streets.”


However, the government is trying to persuade the masses that this reform is for the betterment of the country. And that the change in pensions would prevent the system from collapsing or overburdening. 


Even after two months of struggle, protesters and union members are against this reform. The heated political issues have drained the life of ordinary people. The transport system, educational institutions, and public services have been affected. Fuel deliveries faced blockage, and thousands of tonnes of rubbish were left on the streets of Paris. Apart from that, refineries in Normandy are planning to stop production. 


The contrasting opinions on the change in retirement age created a stand-off between the government and union members. The union members are adamant in their demands that they won’t back down even if the Prime Minister resigns or the government changes. 


The only demand they have is to withdraw retirement reform. Otherwise, the mobilization will continue. An industrial action is scheduled for Thursday, with protests planned for this weekend.


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Tags: #politics #france #francepoliticalturmoil #franceretirementreforms #franceprotests


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