Macron sticks to bill as protests escalate

Protesters on Wednesday also blocked train stations in the southern cities of Nice and Toulouse.


“…Between the polls and the general interest of the country, I choose the general interest,” Macron said, comparing the January 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol. At one point it condemned “extreme violence”.

Aides said the TV interview was intended to “calm things down”. He added that he would like to be more involved in future decisions.

However, the initial reaction indicated that his comment may have backfired.

Moderate and reform-minded Laurent Berger, president of France’s largest union, the CFDT, said: “It’s a lie!

Philippe Martinez, who heads the more hardline CGT union, told French media that he mocked workers in what Mr Macron called “outlandish” interviews.

Railway workers hold up banners reading “until withdrawal” during a demonstration in

“The best thing a president can do is have millions of people strike tomorrow and take to the streets,” Martinez said.

Thursday’s strike severely disrupted train services, affected airports, forced teachers from many professions to quit their jobs, and continued strikes among oil depots, refineries and garbage collectors.

Buckingham Palace sources say the ongoing protests could affect the official visit of Britain’s King Charles, scheduled for next week.


The latest wave of protests and violence represents the most serious challenge to the French president’s authority since the ‘yellow vest’ uprising four years ago.

“He fanned the flames,” Laurent Delaporte, CGT union leader at the port of Le Havre, said of Macron’s interview. “How can you hear that there is no legitimacy in the street?”

The interview was broadcast on the lunch break news bulletin and was watched mostly by pensioners. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen is the only segment of the population opposing reforms that she says shows disdain for workers.

“He is an insult to all French people, in general to all protesters,” said Le Pen.

Opposition parties are calling for Macron to sack Prime Minister Elisabeth Born, who has been at the forefront of pension reform, but Macron backed her and said she had ordered her to work on new reforms.

None of the groups of union members watching the interview in the southern French city of Nice were convinced.

“[On Thursday]we will take to the streets again to oppose pension reform and demand its withdrawal,” said CFDT member Sophie Trastour, one of them.

Reuters, AP

Macron sticks to bill as protests escalate

Source link Macron sticks to bill as protests escalate

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