France burns during night protests – POLITICO
Tense protests against a searing reform of France’s pension system escalated overnight as protesters threw objects at public buildings and set fires in the streets.
“There were numerous demonstrations, which sometimes lasted until very late last night, turning violent, especially in Paris,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the television channel on Friday. CNews.
According to the minister, 903 fires of “street furniture or garbage cans” have been recorded in Paris – where nearly 9,600 tonnes of waste lie in the street because garbage collectors are on strike – and 457 individuals were arrested overnight across France. . Some 441 police officers were injured during the protests.
An estimate of the number of injured protesters is difficult to obtain. A woman suffers from a “serious thumb injury” in Rouen, reports the local daily La Voix du Nord.
Protesters targeted public buildings in several cities across the country, including Nantes, Rennes and Bordeaux – where the city hall gate was set on fire in a giant blaze, according to French newswire AFP.
Thursday’s protests across the country drew just over a million people, according to the Home Office – or 3.5 million, according to unions – in an upsurge in social unrest on the ninth day of protests against the controversial pension reform, AFP reported.
The unpopular reform, which aims to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, was part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s election promises.
Macron continued to stick to the measure, which he deemed ‘necessary’, narrowly surviving a vote of no confidence earlier this week after making the controversial choice last week to bypass parliament and push through the bill. legislation.
But his decision to pass the law without a vote in parliament leaves the president significantly weakened politically, and appears to have helped motivate many protesters to take to the streets.