Millions Protesting Show the Magnitude of Discontent in France

Millions Protesting Show the Magnitude of Discontent in France
Fecha de publicación: 
29 March 2023
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On Tuesday, thousands of French citizens protested against the pension reform amid violent police repression and the changing attitudes of President Emmanuel Macron's administration.

In the morning, the government spokesman Olivier Veran rejected the proposal for mediation put forward by the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT) Laurent Berger on the grounds that both parties do not need a mediator to start a dialogue.

He also rejected the possibility of reopening the discussion on the pension reform because the reform "has already been adopted" and it only remains to wait for the Constitutional Council to validate it in the coming weeks.

This intransigent attitude was also expressed by other high officials. Transport Minister Clement Beaune said that the pension reform will not be discussed again because "Parliament has already voted on it."

Beaune stressed that "there are many other issues that can be discussed", including the modalities of application of Macron's pension reform, but without questioning its content.

Meanwhile, over 2 million people were on the streets facing 13,000 police who lashed out even against the elderly. The images posted on social networks showed dramatic situations.

The massive turnout of the people confirmed that "there remains a deep discontent," the CFDT leader Berger said, adding that the 11th day of national protest will take place on April 6.

After noting the magnitude of the protests, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne invited the French unions to a meeting early next week. This apparent change in attitude happened hours after the statements made by Veran.


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