FRANCE – NEWS
Thousands of people marched in central Paris on Thursday, 16 March to protest against the adoption of pension reform without a vote in the lower house of parliament, Deutsche Welle reported, citing the AFP news agency.
Despite heated debates in parliament, mass protests and nationwide strikes, the French government has still decided to adopt an unpopular reform that would gradually raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
To do so, the country’s Prime Minister, Elisabeth Born, used special constitutional powers to bypass the parliamentary voting stage.
As one of the protesters told reporters, “In a democracy this would have to happen by voting”.
According to Reuters, the number of protesters in Paris reached seven thousand. Protests against the reform were also held in other parts of France, particularly in the cities of Grenoble and Lille.
Unions say the pension reform is unfair and unjustifiably harsh and are calling for a referendum on the issue. Polls show that two thirds of French people oppose the changes proposed by the government.
The next round of strikes and demonstrations against the pension reform are announced by the trade union movement for 23 March.