Protests against pension reform: More than 200 arrests in Paris

Thousands of people have protested in Paris alone against the pushing through of the pension reform. The police arrested 217 demonstrators. Motions of no confidence in the government are expected today.

217 people have been arrested in the French capital Paris during protests against the pension reform. This was announced by the police after a large-scale operation. Previously, she had used tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators who had set fire to wooden pallets on the Place de la Concorde. According to the police, around 6,000 people took part in the protests on the square in front of the French Parliament.

There were also riots during demonstrations in other French cities. In Marseille, demonstrators vandalized several shops and set garbage cans on fire. According to reporters from the French news agency AFP, there were also clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Nantes, Rennes, Lille, Grenoble and Lyon.

An end to the protests is not in sight. The unions announced yesterday that they would continue their strikes. Flights and train connections have been canceled for weeks, and mountains of rubbish are piling up in the streets.

Motions of no confidence expected

And the dispute will also continue in Parliament. No-confidence motions against the government by the opposition are expected later today. Left and right-wing nationalists have already announced applications. These must be available by this afternoon – they will be voted on in the coming days. However, it is considered unlikely that the government will be overthrown. The President of the Républicains, Éric Ciotti, has already stated that his group will not support a motion of no confidence. It remains to be seen whether all MPs will comply.

President Emmanuel Macron’s camp had pushed through the pension reform with the help of a special article in the constitution without a parliamentary vote because a majority in the National Assembly was not certain. Although the conservative Républicains had initially signaled support, this then crumbled.

Retirement age increases to 64 years

A central point of the reform is the increase in the retirement age to 64 years. Currently, the retirement age in France is 62 years. 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 will then be a pension without a deduction, regardless of how long it has been paid in – the government wants to keep this up, even if the number of years of payment required for a full pension is to increase faster than previously planned. She wants to increase the monthly minimum pension to around 1,200 euros. With the reform, the government wants to close an impending gap in the pension fund.

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