In France, large-scale protests continue against the pension reform, which notably plans to raise the retirement age and tighten the conditions for collection. RTVI has collected reactions to what is happening.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared , which considers the implementation of the pension reform and the reaction to it “an internal affair in France”. He recalled that many countries with developed economies are forced to carry out such reforms due to the growth in the number of pensioners, and in Russia this has also been achieved – but with the maintenance of a five-year difference between men and women and a transition period of ten years, which can significantly reduce the burden on citizens.
“France has the same retirement age,” said the Russian leader.
International human rights communities should pay attention to the violation of freedom of assembly rights in France, think Commissioner for Human Rights under the Presidency of Russia Tatyana Moskalkova. In her Telegram channel, she writes that the French police use brutal measures against citizens who defend their rights, and because of this, even more people come out to protest.
According to the Mediator, France has become “a war zone”. “And after? Really: see Paris and die,” summed up Moskalkova.
“The reaction of the government is not yet clear. Previously, with protests, management could back down. But it is possible that now, having lost one thing, you have to make other compromises”, she argues.
Zhurova recalled that initially the protesters’ demands were only for pension reform, but now they are presenting numerous ultimatums, including a change of government. This, according to the MP, may indicate that “someone is controlling” the protest and “someone is behind it”. “The question is who? Zhurova hinted.
“Authoritarian Moment” and “Democratic Collapse”: Media Response to France’s Controversial Pension Reform Law
French police receive weapons instead of talking to protesters, underline Deputy of the State Duma Andrey Krasov. According to him, the authorities of the Fifth Republic are using “democratic clubs” to push through the pension reform, and as a result, the number of victims among protesters, demonstrators and the police is constantly increasing.
Raising the retirement age for France is a “traditional social issue”, which in this case “absolutely does not take into account realities, including post-COVID, and the energy situation”, declared Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Economic Policy Committee, Doctor of Economics Mikhail Delyagin. He believes that the scale of the current protests is due to the fact that many problems have accumulated, and that a specific problem (in this case, the raising of the retirement age) has become a “trigger”, stating that “the authorities have stopped listening to society.”
Rallies against pension reform have taken place in cities across France. How was it
Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin complaints that “there is no violence from the police” and that “individual measures are being taken” against the demonstrators. According to him, over the past two weeks, hundreds of acts of vandalism against public buildings and government institutions, as well as more than 2,000 cases of arson of various objects, have been recorded.
The Minister clarified that the General Inspectorate of the National Police of France is currently carrying out 17 investigations into what happened during the demonstrations. Darmanen shared the Interior Ministry’s forecast that “a high risk to public order” is expected during the ongoing rallies.
French President Emmanuel Macron, remember, says he is ready to put up with the unpopularity of the pension reform, even if mass protests against it continue. Speaking about the French with minimal incomes in a recent interview, he tried to discreetly remove an expensive watch from under the table, but the opposition noticed him and caused a scandal.
Former French MEP Florian Filippo writes on his Twitter that French President Emmanuel Macron threatens national security. He recalled the words of former US leader Donald Trump, who once said that the greatest threat to Americans “does not come from outside, but from sick, radical politicians who want to destroy the country”. The same is true in France, said Filippo, for whom “Macron is a much bigger threat than Putin or Xi Jinping”.
French opponent Charles de Courson urged the country’s authorities to draw lessons from the situation in Israel, whose leaders have just decided to pause the implementation of the controversial justice reform. The leader of the right-wing National Rally, Marine Le Pen, told AFP that France was on the verge of a “social explosion” due to pension reform.
Or, complaints According to French government spokesman Olivier Veran, tourists continue to flock to the country, and “life goes on as usual”. “I don’t want people to think that France is not capable of welcoming tourists. People here and abroad need not worry, despite protests and strikes, life goes on as usual, and that is clearly visible for the French people who live here,” he said. declared.
The reason for the protests in France is in no way the increase in the retirement age, and these actions must be put on an equal footing with what is happening in Germany and Israel, think Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
“There is less and less of what is justified by real and rational reasons, more and more we arrive at a new political paradigm, which I would call “unbridled political passion”, which has nothing to do with with the facts, the reality, the rational approach, where you just have to say anything in the current era of social networks, to attract the passion and emotions of a part of the people to your side and you can do whatever you want, with incomprehensible consequences,” the Serbian leader said.
The French authorities should abandon “barbaric methods of using violence against people who defend their democratic rights” and listen to their own people, declared Nasser Kanani, spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“For the protesters to stop plunging France into an abyss of chaos, the authorities must comply with their demands. Tehran advocates that the French authorities begin to speak the same language with their people. He who sows the wind will reap the storm, ”addressed the diplomat to the leadership of the republic.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry also called on the French authorities to respect the constitutional rights of citizens. Head of its press service Aykhan Hajizade declared that Baku “condemns the excessive and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against protests in France in connection with President Macron’s decision, and in some cases inhumane behavior towards protesters”.
The representative of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry added that the French authorities must respect the principles of freedom of opinion and freedom of assembly, as well as the right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully.
According to Hajizade, Baku calls on international human rights organizations to investigate cases of “excessive violence” used by French security forces against protesters and to “demand appropriate measures within the framework of obligations from this country”.
Due to protests, the visit to France of Britain’s King Charles III and his wife Camilla, which was to be Her Majesty’s first overseas trip after her accession to the throne, has been postponed. Instead, the royal couple went to Germany. Buckingham Palace has confirmed unrest in France was the reason for the change in plans. “Very sad”, – commented situation itself Charles III.
It is assumed that the French Constitutional Council will accept the decision on the pension reform (on its conformity with the fundamental law of the country) on April 14 – more than two weeks later. At the same time, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Born has already invited union representatives to discuss the terms of the pension reform, this meeting should take place at the beginning of next week.
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