President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced his intention to proceed with a controversial pension reform, prompting hundreds of thousands of citizens to plan demonstrations and strikes on Thursday.
Since January, unions have been organising massive protests against a proposed pension reform that would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, and these demonstrations are set to continue on Thursday.
According to Reuters, the Labor unions have stated that the ninth countrywide day of protest scheduled for Thursday will witness enormous crowds expressing their opposition against President Macron’s “scorn” and “lies.”
Macron faced criticism on Wednesday, from unions and opposition parties for disregarding their demands to pay attention to the rising public resentment.
The leader of the CGT union, Philippe Martinez, said, “The best response we can give the president is that there are millions of people on strike and in the streets.”
It was reported that services will be severely affected, and airports may also experience disruptions on Thursday due to a strike.
Also, teachers and workers from various professions will participate in the strike, while rolling strikes will persist at oil depots and among garbage collectors.
The situation worsened after Macron reiterated his position that the new law was essential and would be implemented later this year.
He ignored demands to remove his prime minister, Elisabeth Borne, who has been leading the pension reform efforts, and attempted to move forward.
He instructed her to expand her parliamentary majority and renew her dialogue with the unions.
Speaking about Macron’s decision, Head of Socialist Party, Olivier Faure said, “He has put more explosives on an already well lit inferno.”