France: More than 100 policemen injured in May Day protest against pension law

World Tuesday 02/May/2023 07:01 AM
France: More than 100 policemen injured in May Day protest against pension law

Paris: More than 100 French policemen were injured in clashes that erupted in Paris on Monday, marking May 1, in the wake of unpopular changes to the pension system that were signed into law last month, reported CNN.

Ahead of the protest, the police had warned of a heightened risk of violence, with a total of 291 detentions across France, 90 of whom were apprehended in Paris, according to the French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. The France capital had turned into a pitched battle between the protesters and the police.

According to CNN, around 1,12,000 people took part in the protest in the French capital, said Paris Police.

It is the second-highest turnout since demonstrations against pension reform began this year, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV.

A CNN team on the ground reported chaotic scenes from the protests, having witnessed fireworks and other projectiles thrown at the police who answered with tear gas as they retreated and regrouped.
Reacting to the protests, France Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne tweeted, "In many cities in France, this May Day was a moment of responsible mobilization and commitment. The scenes of violence on the sidelines of the processions are all the more unacceptable. Support for our law enforcement."

This is the latest day of mass action against changes that raise the state pension age from 62 to 64. Trade unions want them withdrawn.

In April, French President Emmanuel Macron, despite severe protests across the country, signed a pension bill into law to raise the country's retirement age by two years, Al Jazeera reported.

The key retirement-age legislation was accepted by France's Constitutional Council, which came after months of opposition to the change, which the administration rammed through parliament without a final vote.

Key reform provisions, such as raising the retirement age to 64 and lengthening the number of years of employment necessary for a full pension, were approved by the nine-member Constitutional Council, which found that the legislation complied with French law.

The fight to put the bill into effect ended up being the biggest domestic obstacle of Macron's second term because of both the overwhelming public resistance to the revisions and his own declining personal popularity, Al Jazeera reported.

A specific contract for older workers as well as requiring large corporations to disclose the number of persons over 55 they employ were two of the nine minor ideas that were turned down in the discussion, according to Al Jazeera.

Earlier, the reforms were passed by parliament on March 16 after the government used a mechanism to bypass a vote by MPs, inflaming nationwide protests. They were considered adopted by parliament when the government survived two no-confidence motions on March 20.