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Unions stay firm as protests persist in France opposing the increase in retirement age

Protests in France against the plan to amend the retirement system continue for the tenth day, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is again asking airlines to cancel some of their flights.

  • Road blockades, strikes and demonstrations have been going on for several days

At the invitation of the trade unions, the French took to the streets again, today, Tuesday, to complete the series of protests against amending the pension system, while the transportation and education sectors were greatly affected by these strikes.

France is witnessing a tenth day of demonstrations against the amendment, which is met with great popular opposition, in an atmosphere of growing tension amid the increase in violence that the government is working to calm down, but to no avail so far.

Protests escalated against the amendment proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron, which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64 years, since the government adopted the text without a vote in the General Assembly, while motions of no confidence did not lead to the overthrow of the government.

Since then, the demonstrations have witnessed increasing violence, during which police, gendarmerie, and demonstrators were injured, and public buildings were burned.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanan announced the deployment of “13,000 police officers, including 5,500 in Paris,” in “unprecedented” reinforcements.

For his part, the government spokesman, Olivier Veran, confirmed that the government is “a bulwark against illegal violence.”

In parallel, roadblocks, strikes and demonstrations have been going on for several days, causing disruptions to fuel supplies in some French regions, and on some roads and logistics depots.

Roads were cut around Rennes and Nantes (west), where traffic was very difficult, while train traffic witnessed major disturbances this morning.

The General Directorate of Civil Aviation asked airlines again to cancel some of their flights Thursday and Friday, especially at Paris-Orly Airport, due to the air traffic controllers’ strike.

More than 15% of petrol stations in France ran out of fuel or diesel yesterday.

Thousands of tons of rubbish choked the streets of the French capital, more than three weeks after the garbage collectors’ strike.

Macron is betting on the fading of the social movement

For his part, Macron met yesterday, Monday, whose popularity declined sharply, with Prime Minister Elizabeth Born and officials in the majority, including party heads, ministers and deputies.

According to statements conveyed by a participant in Monday’s meeting, Macron stressed the need to “continue communication” with unions and accused the left-wing “France Proud” party of seeking to “delegitimize” institutions.

And in A survey conducted by Odoxa GroupOnly 30% of respondents considered Macron a “good” president, down by six percentage points in a month, while 70% of respondents viewed him negatively.

Born told AFP on Sunday that she had set two goals after adopting the text without a vote under constitutional procedure: “to calm the country in the face of these tensions and to speed up the response to the expectations of the French.”

From Monday, a wide-ranging series of consultations began over a period of three weeks with MPs, political parties, local officials and, if they so desire, social partners.

But the unions, who have warned of the protests turning into an out-of-control social movement, do not intend to back down.

And on Tuesday, the Secretary-General of the reformist CFDT union, Laurent Berger, called on the government to establish a “mediation” in order to “find a way out,” adding that “what the unions are proposing today is a calming gesture.”

And the Secretary-General of the “CGT” union, Philippe Martinez, announced that the unions “will send a letter to the President of the Republic” to ask him again to “suspend his project,” while some left-wing opponents, including the leader of the Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, accuse the French president of “betting.” On the Fading of the Social Movement.

A spokesman for the French government said: “We adopt Laurent Berger’s proposal to speak, but directly. There is no need for mediation.”

Intelligence in the French regions expects that “between 650,000 and 900,000 will demonstrate throughout France on Tuesday, including 70,000 to 100,000 in Paris alone,” according to a police source.

Another source in the police expects “a doubling or even a triple increase” in the number of young people participating in the demonstrations, and several educational institutions were closed on Tuesday morning.

Also read: Despite the continuation of the protests.. Macron: Do not back down from the law amending the retirement system

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