Demonstrators prepare to take to the streets again in France after pension reforms

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Millions took to the streets in France after the pension reforms that came into force in March. Demonstrators are preparing for another protest. Paris police are expecting around 70,000 protesters in the capital.

Demonstrators prepare to take to the streets again in France after pension reforms

According to media reports, workers and unions in France are adamant in their opposition to the pension reform passed on March 16 and scheduled to take effect on September 1.

Protests and massive walkouts are expected across the country, with the attendance of up to 600,000 people in total, the daily Le Figaro said, citing authorities.

Paris police are expecting around 70,000 protesters in the capital and protests are also expected in major cities including Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes and Toulouse, Anadolu reported.

"We wait resolutely for the lawbreakers and we will disperse them," Paris police chief Laurent Nunez told the broadcaster BFMTV on Monday.

TRAFFIC WILL BE DISRUPTED

The national railway company SNCF said its traffic would be slightly disrupted, and Paris regional transportation company RATP's traffic will keep its normal course, Le Figaro added.

The French Directorate General for Civil Aviation however asked airline companies to cancel a third of their flights at Paris-Orly airport, due to the workers' strikes.

Walkouts are also planned in hospitals and nurseries.

'LAST MOBILIZATION DAYS'

"This is probably one of the last mobilization days against the pension reform," the trade union French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT) Secretary-General Laurent Berger told Europe 1 on Tuesday morning.

"The French feel that they have not been listened to," he added.

NO RESULT FROM NEGOTIATIONS

After the law was passed, negotiations were held between the unions and the government, but to no avail.

In the protests that have been going on across the country since January, there have been constant clashes between police and demonstrators and police have arrested hundreds of suspects. Streets have been badly damaged by the violence.

TAX ON TOBACCO INSTEAD OF PENSION REFORM

The centrist opposition group LIOT in the French parliament has proposed a bill to repeal the pension reform.

In their proposed bill, the group suggested an extra tax on tobacco products as a solution to compensate for the financial shortfall caused by the cancellation of the pension reform.

The bill will be examined by members of parliament on Thursday.

WHAT IS THE PENSION REFORM LAW?

The law raised the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030, requiring at least 43 years of service to be eligible for a full pension.

When the government announced the bill in January, millions of people took to the streets to protest against it. The situation was also taken to parliament, where it sparked a parliamentary debate.

The unrest intensified when Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, after consulting with Macron, decided to use special constitutional powers to adopt the bill without parliamentary approval in March.

The decision was motivated by concerns that lawmakers would be able to stymie the reforms because the government lacked an absolute majority in parliament.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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