FRANCE: Demonstrators opposed to the French president’s decision to raise the retirement age, stormed the Paris 2024 Olympic Games headquarters in a last-ditch effort to urge lawmakers to reverse the decision. The building was briefly occupied by a dozen hard-left CGT trade union militants, as shown on TV.
The most recent countrywide marches in France attracted 281,000 people, a decrease from the 782,000 people who participated in the previous rallies on May 1. Trade unions have been protesting against President Emanuel Macron’s decision to extend the French workweek with strikes and demonstrations since January, which have sometimes turned violent.
The level of violence during rallies in Paris has decreased since significant conflicts erupted in March and April. Macron proposes raising the legal retirement age by two years to 64. But trade union added that the money can be obtained by boosting taxes on the rich.
The CGT’s secretary-general, Sophie Binet, has declared that her organisation will continue to fight for the new pension legislation, noting that the strikers have experienced financial pressure and are experiencing anger and fatigued. She also said that there is a lot of anger but also fatigue.
Authorities predicted between 400,000 and 600,000 people would participate in demonstrations, a decrease from the more than a million who showed up at the height of the pension demonstrations earlier this year.
If Macron does not budge, some demonstrators have vowed to interrupt the Olympics next year. 11,000 police officers were on duty, and fuel deliveries were prevented from leaving the TotalEnergies Donges plant in western France.
Rail traffic was little impacted, but overflights had to be cancelled due to ATC strikes. 400 flights were cancelled today due to French ATC strikes, most of which were overflights. To change the narrative, Macron has announced tax breaks for the middle class, investments in electric car batteries, and tax credits for green industries.
The French parliament is considering a resolution to repeal the minimum pension age, but it is expected to be rejected due to MPs not being allowed to adopt legislation that would have a negative impact on the public purse.
Unions are hoping a large protest attendance will put pressure on lawmakers to conduct a vote and shift the political power balance.