• On January 10, the government presented its pension reform project, and in particular the increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.

  • The unions kicked off the protest on Thursday to make the government back down on this text.

    They hailed a "successful" mobilization, while the CGT counted more than two million demonstrators, against 1.12 million for the Ministry of the Interior.

  • In the majority, we assume the standoff, ensuring that the government "will go to the end".

A few days ago, Olivier Véran said that he was not planning "in the idea of ​​a massive mobilization".

This Thursday, opponents of the pension reform were keen to make the government spokesman lie.

According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, 1.12 million people marched in Paris and in 200 cities in France.

They were even more than two million, according to the CGT.

The unions hailed a “successful” mobilization in the streets and for the strikes.

A first "Black Thursday", which puts pressure on Emmanuel Macron and his majority, a few days before the text arrives in Parliament.

“The mobilization of the day is an undeniable success, with an inter-union meeting and many French people in the street.

This contrasts with the demonstrations on the purchasing power of the last months”, assures Luc Rouban, researcher at the CNRS and CEVIPOF.

At the national level, the levels of mobilization are higher than those of December 2019, for the previous pension reform project, finally abandoned by Emmanuel Macron due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The figures rather evoke the major demonstrations of 1995, which led to the withdrawal of Edouard Balladur's pension bill.

“In a context of difficult life, linked to inflation, this reform carries a symbolic charge.

It appears as a new dismantling of the French social model and everyone feels affected,” adds the researcher.

“We were not elected to please people”

The text, unveiled on January 10 by Elisabeth Borne, is very unpopular in public opinion.

According to several recent polls, about two-thirds of French people are against the project, and an even larger majority does not want an extension of retirement to 64 years.

The measure also arouses a challenge from opposition parties, from the National Rally to the left-wing coalition (Nupes).

“The united unions make an impressive demonstration of their popular following.

Macron lost this first round.

The fight continues, ”reacted on Twitter Jean-Luc Mélenchon, calling for a new march this Saturday with youth organizations.

From Barcelona, ​​where he participated in a Franco-Spanish summit, Emmanuel Macron remained straight in his boots, insisting on the "determination" of the executive to bring about a "fair and responsible" reform.

“The President of the Republic campaigned on this extension of the retirement age and was elected.

It was then courageous to tell the truth, assures Benjamin Haddad, deputy for Paris and spokesperson for the Renaissance group.

He has the legitimacy to reform, so we will go all the way”.

Among the macronists, we assume the standoff with the street, insisting on the need to have to balance the system.

“During the Fillon pension reform in 2003, there were a million people in the street, days of debate in the Assembly, but the reform passed anyway”, sweeps François Patriat, boss of the Renaissance senators.

“We were not elected to please people, but to protect our social system, so we have to make extra efforts.

The reform will pass.


The battle is probably just beginning.

In the evening, the unions could announce other days of demonstrations.

"The real success of the mobilization will be measured by its ability to be long-term," recalls Luc Rouban.

“It is this data, and the possibility of generating blockages in the long term, which could – perhaps – force the government to make changes.



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  • Emmanuel Macron

  • Pension reform 2023

  • Retreat

  • Demonstration

  • Mobilization

  • Union

  • Government