France rocked by new demonstrations after Macron’s speech on pension reform
France was rocked by impromptu demonstrations after the president's speech on pension reform Monday evening, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
Emmanuel Macron spoke to the nation in a televised address about the contested pension reform bill after signing it into law Saturday morning. The move came after the Constitutional Council on Friday ruled in favor of its most contentious part on raising the legal age of retirement.
Protesters gathered in many cities across the country during Macron's speech to once more express their rejection as they have done since January, according to media reports.
While some used pots and pans to make noise, others set fire to dumpsters and ebikes in Paris streets, the Le Monde daily reported.
Thousands also protested in cities such as Lyon, Rennes, Marseille, Nantes and Bordeaux, where tensions rose in some spots, the Le Figaro newspaper reported.
Paris police counted 2,000 protesters in the capital, and police used tear gas to disperse them, Le Figaro added.
The president's speech was anything but appeasing and he did not back down from his decision.
Macron expressed his will to turn the page on this reform and move on to other projects, noting that "the measures planned in the bill will progressively enter into force this fall."
The head of state reiterated the need to enact the reform due to the increasing number of retired people and life expectancy.
"Is this reform accepted? Clearly no," Macron continued. “Despite months of consultations, a consensus was not found, and I regret that."
The president admitted that during the demonstrations, protesters not only objected to the reform plan but also to their living standards and soaring prices.
The controversial pension reform plan was signed and promulgated Saturday in the Official Journal.
Macron signed the bill after the Constitutional Council finished its review late Friday despite demands by trade unions to drop the measure that has drawn weeks of protests.
The nine "sages" as they are known in France partially approved the bill while rejecting six of its measures, including those regarding senior workers.
The bill includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030, requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for a full pension, with workers and trade unions among others vehemently opposing the plan.