Clashes broke out again between police and demonstrators in Paris on Friday evening at a protest against the French government's pension reform. According to media reports, security forces used water cannon and tear gas against the protesters, who threw paving stones and firecrackers at police officers. Objects were also set on fire.
According to information from the French television station BFMTV, 38 people were arrested. Around 4000 participants are said to have been counted at the protest. There were also protests in other cities, such as Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg.
The spontaneous rally in Paris took place on the central Place de la Concorde, which is not far from the Parliament building. Riots had already broken out there the day before after the French government decided to push through the controversial reform with the help of Special Article 49.3 without a vote in the National Assembly. She feared that not enough MEPs would agree to the reform. This provides for raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
Trade unions have been protesting the reform plans with strikes for weeks. They have again called for a nationwide day of strikes and protests for next Thursday.