A thorn in Macron’s side: 500,000 protest against pension reform

A thorn in Macron’s side: 500,000 protest against pension reform

For Emmanuel Macron it promises to be a day of fire. During the Francefrom the point of view of a great national strikebetween 220 and 250 marches are expected to demonstrate against that pension reform sponsored by the government. Between 50,000 and 80,000 demonstrators are expected in Paris alone. French secret services even predict 750,000 peopleand on the square.

day of fire

They have been mobilized 10,000 in between police officers and gendarme3,500 in the capital “to enable people who want to demonstrate to do so under the best possible conditions,” the interior minister told Rtl. Gerhard Darmanin.

“The police forces are there to enforce the right to demonstrate, which is a right guaranteed by the Constitution,” underlined the minister, adding that “according to the services, there could be fewer than a thousand people in Paris violent“.

The big risk is that the numerous anti-pension reform demonstrations – which, we recall, are jeopardizing the credibility of Macron’s second term as president – ​​could lead to it fightsor worse, in urban warfare.

Macron in the eye of the storm

Ten days after the government unveiled the pension reform project unions and left parties have collectively called for a Thursday of massive protests across the country. The target of the protests is apparently Macron. The eight largest unions call for demonstrations with the support of the left.

THE transportthe schoolsthe hospitalsFurthermore refineries and gas stations, are the sectors hardest hit by the unrest. In the meantime, the representatives of the company Edf (Electricity de France) have made the first production cuts electrical power, resulting in network losses equivalent to those of a nuclear reactor. However, the fall in production has not led to blackouts: this is what Fabrice Coudur, federal secretary of the Fnme-Cgt trade union, reports to the France Presse agency, specifying that “at this point in time we are already seeing a fall in production in the sanitary sector”.

What was done, stressed the trade unionist, put the network under tension, “but without any impact on end users”. The secretary of the Cgt Mines et Energie union, Sébastien Menesplier, threatened possible targeted actions against those parliamentarians who support the reform by turning off the electricity in their offices. Threats described by the government spokesman as “unacceptable in a democracy” Oliver Veran.

The anger of the French

According to a survey by the CSA Institute for CNEWS, the 61% the French yes contradicts to the invoice on the pension payments made by the government and could therefore join the demonstrations. The numbers are impressive and apparently the government’s efforts to defend what was presented as a “justice project” did not seem to have convinced the majority. Only 38% of respondents support the reform, while 1% have no opinion on the issue.

More specifically, opposition to the project is the strongest among most young. It rises to 73% for those under 35 and even to 76% for those aged 35 to 49. From the age of 50, the ratio reverses, with those in favor of pension reform being slightly over-represented (51%).

In any case, the SNCF forecasts “very disrupted” traffic with a TGV of three, or even one in five depending on the line, and only an average TER of ten. there meter Paris is reduced to the essentials, three lines are closed, a further ten are open “only during peak hours” and the last three “risk of saturation”.

Even the air traffic will be suspended while refineries and oil depots, as mentioned, will be ordered to suspend their activities for twenty-four hours. The strike is expected to be very popular in schools, with 70% of primary school teachers affected.

The pension reform

With the aforementioned pension reform in France,retirement age would go from 62 to 64 years oldwith a law that, according to the text published by the French newspaper Liberation, would consist of only ten articles, divided into two parts and compressed to 57 pages for the time being.

Reviewed by Council of State As of January 10, this “Preliminary Draft Amendment to the Social Security Financing Law for 2023” includes all the elements presented by the Prime Minister a week ago.

The only difference is that while the text speaks of a minimum pension of 85% of the minimum wage for future pensioners, it makes no mention of the fate of current pensioners, to whom the government has promised “upgrades”. The Executive would send an amending letter to the State Council to incorporate this announced measure Elizabeth Borne last week.