Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Thousands march in Paris to protest over pension reform plan

The march went from the Gare du Nord train station to Chatelet in central Paris.

Demonstrators set up a barricade during a protest against pension reform plans in Paris (Michel Euler/AP)
Demonstrators set up a barricade during a protest against pension reform plans in Paris (Michel Euler/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Thousands of protesters opposed to the French government’s plan to revamp the retirement system have marched through Paris, the 24th day of crippling strikes.

In an unusual gesture, unions organising the march asked yellow vest protesters to join them.

The march coincided with the 59th consecutive Saturday of marches by the yellow vest movement that seeks social and economic justice.

bpanews_8ebb7a66-8716-4ad9-b2f5-4e284373b3fc_embedded249259746
Police officers stand next to the Beaubourg museum during the protest (Michel Euler/AP)

Brief scuffles marred the union march as individuals, some wearing masks, burned construction materials along the route.

The march went from the Gare du Nord train station to Chatelet in central Paris.

“Whatever the colour of the vest, we must stick together,” the leader of the hard-left CGT union Philippe Martinez said on BFMTV, referring to the several hundred yellow vests who joined the march.

President Emmanuel Macron wants to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 and rid the complex system of 42 special categories, notably railway and bus and Metro employees, with their own rules.

The strikes have disrupted transport across France and beyond, hitting Paris Metros and trains across the country as well as businesses.

The strikes have been especially felt over the holiday season.

On Saturday, the SNCF train authority said only six of 10 high-speed trains were running.

The Eurostar from Paris to London had four of five trains running. Paris Metro service was improving, with partial service on several lines that had been shut down from the start. Only two lines, both automatic, ran without problem.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe plans to continue talks with unions after a holiday break. The unions plan a major day of action on January 9.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph