France to be hit by fresh strikes and demonstrations over government’s attack on pensions

Demonstrators of CGT Merieux bio lab unions take part to a protest march against plans to push back France’s retirement age, in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A fresh round of strikes is set to hit France on Tuesday over the attack on pension rights by the government of President Emmanuel Macron.

Further walkouts and marches are planned for Saturday, while left-wing opponents of Mr Macron’s minority administration have already filed thousands of amendments ahead of the parliamentary debate which began this afternoon.

Trains and the Paris metro are again expected to see “severe disruptions” according to operators, and around one in five flights at Orly airport, south of the capital, are expected to be cancelled on Tuesday.

The plans are widely unpopular and last week’s demonstrations brought out more than 2.5 million people nationwide, the largest protest in France since 2010.

Francois Ruffin, an MP for left-wing France Unbowed, said: “The government is no longer trying to convince people, but just to win.”

On Sunday Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne offered to alter her plans, saying people who started work aged between 20 and 21 will be covered by an exemption allowing them to leave earlier, at 63.

But CFDT union centre general secretary Laurent Berger called the offer a “patch,” and said that the move “isn’t the response to the huge, geographically and professionally diverse mobilisation” that has swept France.

Morning Star (UK), February 6, 2023,