Participants in the 12th demonstration against the French pension reform in Paris clashed with the police. A particularly tense situation developed in Place de la Bastille near the Banque de France, where people occupied the space in front of the Opéra Bastille, reports an The Eastern Herald correspondent.
According to him, one of the demonstrators brought with him the Soviet Victory Banner. Other protesters pelted police with rocks, drink cans, bottles and chairs at street cafes. Law enforcement began arresting the most active protesters, and shortly after several arrests, the situation in the square calmed down.
On the morning of April 13, demonstrators gathered near the Gare de Lyon, from where they headed for the offices of LVMH, a manufacturer of luxury goods, “considered a symbol of capitalism”, reports a chain of French television. Moving along rue Montaigne near the Champs Elysées, activists chanted “This street is ours”. Initially, it was assumed that a rally would take place outside the office, but at some point protesters entered the building and filled the lobby.
The demonstration brought together one of the leaders of the “yellow vests” Jérôme Rodriguez, who declared that “the fight must go beyond pensions” because the question “concerns democracy”. “We are going to show (French President Emmanuel) Macron that it is not up to him to decide, but to the labor camp. If you are looking for money to finance pensions, take it from the pockets of billionaires, starting with (LVMH boss) Bernard Arnault,” Fabien Villedieu, boss of the SUD-Rail railway company, told the media. French.
Friday, April 14, the Constitutional Council of the Republic endure its decision on the extent to which the reform plan, which includes raising the retirement age, complies with the country’s Basic Law. Macron rejected calls from union leaders to negotiate with them, but promised he would invite them to discuss reform after the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
The head of the republic insists that the French pension system is at the “dying” stage, and the changes proposed, in particular the raising of the retirement age from 62 to 64 (initially it was planned to raise the bar at age 65), are necessary. He warned that he would continue to take steps to implement the reform, even if his unpopularity with citizens became evident.
“Authoritarian Moment” and “Democratic Collapse”: Media Response to France’s Controversial Pension Reform Law
Public outcry against the upcoming changes intensified after the government resorted to the ‘nuclear option’ – Article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allowed the reform bill to be passed by Parliament on March 16 without a vote. The opposition described this decision as authoritarian.
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