San Dieguito Academy Newspaper

Civil unrest in France

Protest erupts in France as President Macron raises the retirement age to 64

May 8, 2023

As confidence in the French government wavers, people in France began protesting on the second of April after French President Emmanuel Marcon raised the national retirement age by two years from 62 to 64. This law was proposed in the French parliament but didn’t get enough votes to pass. The president then passed the law without the National Assembly agreement. This is because his party doesn’t hold enough seats in the assembly making them the be in the minority. This made it so French President Emmanuel had no choice but to pass the law without the French National Assembly’s permission. Which is a constitutional power the president has on civil matters. This made the people of France protest in the streets to show their disapproval of the new law. 

On Monday, April 17th, Marcon made a televised speech about the promise of a new pact that would increase the pay of workers and work conditions as well as reform vocational high schools to help reduce unemployment. The unions organizing the protests across France have responded to the speech by telling the people to keep protesting and striking for their jobs. Despite the millions of protestors, the government has refused to take down the bill as President Emmanuel Marcon has said it “ is vital for the economic health of France” This was said during a speech that was interrupted by protestors in the Baltic states. The law has seen major pushback from most in France with estimations saying that 70% of civilians in France disapprove of the law. 

The protests in France with millions of protestors marching the streets to show their disapproval of the new are mostly peaceful, but some marches do turn violent. The French head of police has decided on an extra 17,000 police to be dispatched nationwide with 5,000 of the police being stationed in the capital city. Reports from the French government say that there have been over 2,000 fires being lit in the street and police stations with over 1,000 injured police officers due to the protest in France. During the protest, people are also using the chaos to raid stores. As many of 400 privately owned businesses have been damaged or have been stolen from. Protests in France will likely continue until President Emmanuel takes back the bill, as trade unions refuse to stop organizing protests.

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