French Pension Reform Protesters Stage: French anti-pension reform protesters stormed the Paris 2024 Olympic Games headquarters on Tuesday, as trade unions made a last-ditch effort to pressure legislators into reversing President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to increase the retirement age.
French anti-pension reform protesters stormed the Paris 2024 Olympic Games headquarters on Tuesday, as trade unions made a last-ditch effort to pressure legislators into reversing President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to increase the retirement age. BFM TV broadcast images of dozens of hard-left CGT union militants momentarily occupying the Aubervilliers building in northern Paris.
“There was no violence and no damage,” a Games representative told Reuters. The most recent nationwide demonstrations attracted far fewer individuals than the May 1 demonstration.
How Many People Are There?
The French government reported that 281,000 individuals took to the streets across France on Tuesday, a significant decrease from the May 1 figure of 782,000.
Since mid-January, trade unions have fought Macron’s initiative to make the French work longer with rolling strikes and demonstrations that have occasionally descended into violence on the periphery. After significant clashes erupted in March and April, the level of violence at the demonstrations has gradually diminished, although minor vandalism occurred at the conclusion of Tuesday’s demonstration in Paris.
Macron argues that it was necessary to increase the legal retirement age by two years to 64 in order to address the escalating pension deficit. However, labour unions argue that the funds can be obtained through other means, such as increasing taxes on the affluent. The new pension law has already been enacted, and after months of unusual union among the largest labour unions, there are now disagreements over where to concentrate efforts.
Sophie Binet, secretary-general of the CGT, stated that her union will continue to fight. “There’s a lot of anger, but there’s also a lot of fatigue,” Binet said, adding that strikers’ wallets had been pinched.
‘BALANCE OF POWER’ Authorities estimated that between 400,000 and 600,000 people would join the demonstrations, which would be a decrease from the more than one million who participated at the height of the pension protests earlier this year.
French Pension Reform Protesters Stage
Some protesters have threatened to disrupt the Olympic Games next summer if Macron does not back down. In Paris, banners displaying the phrase “No retirement, no Olympics” were visible. On Tuesday, some 11,000 police officers were deployed, including 4,000 in Paris. Near Nantes, in western France, riot police and black-clad demonstrators clashed at the TotalEnergies site in Donges, preventing fuel deliveries from leaving.
Light disruptions to rail travel occurred. The civil aviation authority ordered airlines to cancel one-third of departures from Paris-Orly, the city’s second-busiest airport, and a walkout by some air traffic control employees forced the cancellation of some overflights. “We’ve had to cancel approximately 400 flights today due to French ATC strikes. “The majority of these flights are non-French overflights,” tweeted Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Macron and his administration have been on a mission to alter the narrative for the past few weeks. The French leader has announced investments in electric vehicle batteries, tax credits for green industry, and tax cuts for the middle class. Lauren Berger, the president of the reform-minded CFDT labour union, stated that the current objective was to transform anger into a “show of strength” in negotiations with the government on issues such as improving working conditions and purchasing power.
The French parliament will examine on Thursday a resolution sponsored by the opposition that seeks to cancel the increase in the minimum pension age. It is anticipated to be rejected by the speaker of the lower house, a member of Macron’s party because the constitution prohibits lawmakers from passing legislation that burdens public finances without compensatory measures.