A new round of strikes and protests against pension reforms began in France on Thursday. Despite an attempt at appeasement by President Emmanuel Macron, thousands took to the streets in various cities. Access to universities and high schools was blocked and oil depots blocked. According to broadcaster BFMTV, 15 percent of gas stations in France are now missing at least one fuel. Trains and flights were canceled again. The authorities expected up to 800,000 demonstrators across the country during the day.
The protests are directed against the gradual increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 and the government's actions. 12,000 police officers and gendarmes are on duty. It is feared that there will be more riots. While the days of strikes and protests were mostly peaceful for weeks, violence has increased in recent days.
The middle government wants to close an impending gap in the pension fund by raising the entry age. The dispute escalated a week ago because Macron pushed the text through the National Assembly without a vote. Two motions of no confidence in the government failed on Monday evening. The reform has thus been passed. It is now before the Constitutional Council for review.
The retirement age in France is currently 62. In fact, retirement begins later on average: those who have not paid in long enough to receive a full pension work longer. At the age of 67 there is then a pension without any deductions, regardless of how long it has been paid in - the government intends to keep this, even if the number of years required to pay in for a full pension is to increase more quickly. She wants to increase the monthly minimum pension to around 1,200 euros.