Friday, June 9

Macron rejects the mediation requested by the unions amid new protests against the pension reform

The government of French President Emmanuel Macron has rejected the offer of mediation raised by the unions this Tuesday, the same day that a new day of nationwide protests against the controversial pension reform, the tenth, has registered a lower participation than before.

The keys to the pension reform that agitates France


The government spokesman, Olivier Véran, has categorically rejected the union’s proposal to seek mediation to help overcome the social and political crisis that France has been experiencing for weeks in exchange for parking the application of the reform.

“There is no need for mediators,” Verán assured at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, in which he stressed that the controversial reform has already been approved and that any dialogue with the unions must be “to advance, not to turn back”.

The main union leaders have received the refusal while they were preparing to start the 250 demonstrations called throughout the country. “It is unbearable that the answer is rejection,” declared the leader of the country’s main union, Laurent Berger (CFDT), before beginning the demonstration. “We have proposed an exit door, now what is needed is for the Government to respond. It seems that for now it is not ready. Maybe it will change in a few hours.”

Both Berger and Philippe Martínez, leader of the second union in the country, the CGT, indicated that the inter-union group that brings together eight main workers’ organizations is going to write to Macron to try to convince him to accept mediation, something that the little boy has done. centrist MoDem party, an ally of the president.

Fewer protesters, some incidents

Participation in the marches has shown a clear decline compared to other calls, with fewer protesters in Paris and in other cities. According to the CGT union, a total of 450,000 people in Paris, compared to 800,000 last Thursday, when they set a record.

The Ministry of the Interior has counted 740,000 protesters throughout the country this Tuesday, compared to the 1.09 million that, according to its figures, mobilized last day, according to its figures. The CGT, for its part, has calculated that more than two million people have marched, compared to the 3.5 million they estimated last Thursday.

In Paris, the crowd has gathered from the symbolic Place de la République, scene of some of the most important rallies in the country’s history, to march along Boulevard Voltaire to Place de la Nation.

The staging has reflected the deep discomfort against Macron, reflected in the posters and chants against him, some rescued from the time of “the yellow vests”, the revolt that since the end of 2018 put the president in trouble.

Participation in Paris has been heterogeneous. From young university students to septuagenarians, passing through families with their minor children. There have been first-time protesters, such as Charlotte, 27, a student at the University of Dijon.

“I am not expressing myself specifically against the pension reform, I am expressing myself against the use of 49.3 by the Government,” the twenty-year-old told EFE, alluding to the constitutional shortcut activated by the Executive to approve the law without a vote in the Assembly.

“We are in a democracy and that measure is undemocratic”, the university student has abounded, accompanied by a friend, also a first-timer in a protest against the pension reform. “I think that the incidents come more from the forces of order,” said the second, a doctoral student in Orléans.

Although the protest has been peaceful and the unions have condemned the violent outbreaks generated by small radical groups, there have been some incidents with some charges by riot police officers and by mid-afternoon local time there were already 22 detainees.

End to the garbage strike

The Ministry of the Interior has organized an unprecedented security device, with a total of 13,000 agents throughout the country, including 5,500 in Paris, in order to prevent a further increase in violent incidents such as the one that occurred in the protests in last week.

On the other hand, the strike by workers of the garbage collection service in the middle of Paris will end tomorrow after 23 days of strike, as announced by the CGT union. At the height of the strike, some 10,000 tons of garbage accumulated in the streets of the capital, a material that was used by participants in the protests to cause small fires in the streets of Paris.