Face to face. Less than a kilometer away. The French Government, meeting in Elíseo and chaired by Emmanuel Macron, has approved the two laws that contain pension reform, the lighthouse project of the legislature. Meanwhile, in the Place de la Concorde, concluded the union demonstration that requires its withdrawal.
We are on day 51 of one of the longest social protests that France has known. And it will continue. The unions have already called for new mobilizations for next Wednesday , on the eve of the start of the conference that must bring together the government headed by Edouard Philippe with social agents to discuss the financial balance of the system. That is, if you raise the minimum age from 62 to 64 years to collect the full pension.
Philippe Martinez, leader of the CGT and the trade union nucleus that opposes the reform, said: "If the government gets a big head, we must continue to pressure it."
What does seem to be terminated is the strike in transport. Yesterday, rail traffic was almost normal on international and high-speed lines. The Cercanías operated at 60%. In the Paris metro, only three lines were functioning normally. But there is no longer closed. Yes, the Eiffel Tower was.
In the education sector, unemployment was supported by 16% of primary school teachers and 10% of secondary school teachers, according to the ministry. The unions accounted for 40% of strikers.
There are demonstrations in Toulouse, Montpellier, Nice, Clermont Ferrand. And of course in Paris where the unions claim to have gathered between 350,000 and 400,000 people . It is the seventh since the movement started on December 5.
The leader of France Insumisa, (far left), Jean Luc Mélenchon said: "Macron has given up convincing because his intention is to win and that is the worst in a democratic society"
The president, meanwhile, denounced "acts of violence and the radicality of some blockades," according to the spokeswoman for the Executive, Sibeth Ndiaye. The allusion is meridian. As the strike in transport was extinguished, other forms of protests have appeared with the endorsement of the unions: days of 'dead ports' and deliberate cuts of the electricity supply. Macron warned that "maximum firmness with its authors" will be used.
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