Paris rally against pension reform turns violent

A rally held Tuesday in Paris against the government's pension reform descended into violence when various groups joined in, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

It marked the 10th day of a planned mobilization since January, with thousands of workers protesting and walking out in various sectors including transportation, energy and education.

Protests were held in other cities as well, including Lyon, Rennes and Nantes.

Violent groups infiltrated the parade in Paris and once again vandalized street furniture and set fire to garbage cans in the streets, according to an Anadolu correspondent at the scene.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said late Tuesday that 13,000 police officers have been deployed during the demonstrations, including 5,500 in Paris.

The General Labor Confederation announced that more than two million protesters had gathered in France, including 450,000 in Paris, while the Interior Ministry counted 740,000, according to the Le Figaro daily newspaper.

Police have arrested 70 people in Paris, Le Figaro said, citing police sources.

Trade unions decided on a new mass mobilization day on April 6 before the Constitutional Council achieves to examine the pension bill, Le Figaro also said.

The French government used special constitutional powers on March 16 to force the pension reform plan through, prompting opposing parties to submit no-confidence motions that were later rejected.

President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne decided to invoke Article 49.3 of the constitution, a mechanism that lets the government adopt a draft bill without parliamentary approval.

The decision was driven by fear that lawmakers would be able to block the reforms as the government does not hold an absolute majority in the legislature.

The government revealed the reform project in January and parliament began examining and debating the draft bill the following month.

Workers and trade unions have since expressed growing outrage by holding demonstrations and walkouts.

The reform project 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.


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