In France hundreds of thousands of people have been on the streets again in a direct challenge to the plans by president Emmauel Macron to make people work longer for their pensions. Demonstrations took place in cities across the country with the unions claiming more than four hundred and fifty thousand taking part in Paris alone. Authorities put that figure lower, but also put a record thirteen thousand police on duty. It's been two weeks since the president used a controversial constitutional power to bypass parliament and move on with steps to raising the retirment age from 62 to 64.
Unions have again been at the forefront of the protests. They've been angered by the government's outright rejection of calls for mediation in the crisis. Macron has been playing deaf and blind for nearly two months, ignoring week after week all the anger and all the demonstrations. And now, once the law has been passed, he agrees to meet with the unions to discuss the social agenda and so on. What he doesn’t understand, what the government does not understand, is that today the work force refuses to move on until we go back on the terms of this law."
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