The protests were against the planned raising of the retirement age from 62 to 64 years of age.
31.1. 18:22 | Updated 31.1. 21:14
In France, people gathered in large numbers again on Tuesday to oppose the controversial pension reform.
In Paris alone, half a million people participated in the protests, the country’s leading trade union CGT said on Tuesday evening. According to the police, there were 87,000 demonstrators in Paris. According to trade unions, there were 2.8 million demonstrators in the entire country, reports AFP.
French magazine Le Monde almost 250 different protests were organized in the country. According to the country’s Ministry of the Interior, the protests were monitored by approximately 11,000 police officers.
According to Reuters, the unions plan to organize new demonstrations on February 7 and 11.
A strike caused disruptions in public transport, for example, when both public transport workers and teachers went on strike. For this reason, many French people decided to have a remote working day or to be completely free from work.
According to the trade unions, about half of the teachers would have been on strike, according to the French Ministry of Education, only about a quarter, reports the BBC.
The protesters were against the planned increase in the retirement age, where the retirement age was supposed to be raised from 62 to 64. In addition, the government wants to increase the time people have to work before they can get a full pension.
Pension reform has caused irritation in France. The irritation has been increased by the fact that the cost of living has risen like the rest of Europe.
“People didn’t just come to protest against the pension reform: people are just fed up,” said a representative of the CFDT union in Quimper, western France Joel Ledantec For Le Monde.
“This is not about pensions, but about what kind of society we want,” said a university professor participating in the protest Martine Beugnet for news agency AFP.
President Emmanuel Macron has said that although the details of the pension reform can be discussed, the requirement to raise the retirement age will not be abandoned under any circumstances.
France’s retirement age is currently one of the lowest in Europe.
However, the bill’s path forward in parliament is not rosy, as the left-wing opposition has submitted more than 7,000 amendments to it. In addition, Macron’s coalition is not able to push through its proposal on its own, but also needs support from the conservative parties. Economists have also had different views on the usefulness of the reform.
“Mr. Macron will definitely lose. No one wants his reforms, and the more time passes, the more opposition there is to them,” said the politician, one of the leaders of the French left Jean-Luc Melenchon according to news agency AFP.
According to a recent survey by the OpinionWay polling institute, 61 percent of French people oppose raising the retirement age and support the protesters. The figure is three percentage points higher than in the previous measurement before mid-January.
“I don’t want to work longer. My work is hard, and I’m already exhausted at the age of 62,” said a 56-year-old kitchen assistant who participated in the protest Sylvie Dieppois for AFP.
Also earlier in January, nearly 1.1 million people occupied the streets in a similar demonstration. Such numbers of people have not been seen on the streets of France since 2010. Even then there was opposition to reforming the pension system.
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