Continuing their protest, for the fifth time, French citizens took to the streets to oppose President Emmanuel Macron’s effort to push the country’s retirement age up by two years in a move he said will save the budget.
Unions in the country said some 1.3 million people participated across the country on Thursday. Last Saturday, the union said 2.5 million joined in protests.
The protests were not as disruptive as earlier ones, but high-speed train service in the country had delays and about a third of flights were canceled at Paris’s second busiest airport.
France 24 reported that some of the protesters held signs that read “retirement before arthritis” and called the age increase from 62 to 64 arbitrary. “Why not 69 years, if you’re going to screw us?”
Macron said the move is to keep the pension system solvent. (See “EUROPE IS FACED WITH MASSIVE PROTEST MOVEMENT WHILE STOKING WWIII THAT WILL LEAD TO AN ECONOMIC CALAMITY FOR THE WORKING CLASS,” 14 Feb 2023.)
France has the lowest age for a state pension among major European countries. Macron claimed that there is an imbalance between the working-age population and those able to collect a pension, and so the only way to “save” the system is to have the public work longer.
Philippe Martinez, head of the massive CGT union, said it is important not to put too much stock in the recent numbers.
“After the school holidays, we’ll need to turn up the volume,” he said.
The Associated Press reported that there is a protest planned for 7 March that intends to bring the country to its knees.
“These reforms are robbing people of their rights. I’m here today to show Macron that he cannot be deaf and that there are consequences when you try to defy the majority of the country,” Pierre-Yves Toudic, a 34-year-old engineer who was protesting at the Bastille Plaza in central Paris, told the AP.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the push to unionize and the New World Disorder that includes angry mobs of people tired of the status quo. It is worth noting that large numbers of students and young people are included as the drivers in these French protests. We had forecast that the young, who still have the energy to fight, will be major players in these movements as they sink into economic despair.
About 70 percent of those polled in the country are opposed to Macron’s plans and opponents have filed thousands of amendments as a strategy to delay debate, but it was passed to the Senate on Saturday.
It is worth noting that as economic concerns worry the working-class population, Macron announced that Paris would increase its defense budget by 40 percent from 2024-2030 to 413 billion euros.