BMore than 200 people were arrested by the police on Thursday evening at a protest in Paris against the government’s pension reform measures. The France Info station reported that riots broke out on the Place de la Concorde in the center of the capital. According to police sources, 217 people were arrested.
According to media reports, the riot police used water cannon and tear gas to clear the square. Among other things, demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets and threw objects at the police officers. A total of around 6000 participants were counted.
On Thursday afternoon, the French government decided at short notice to push through the controversial pension reform without the actual vote in the National Assembly. She resorted to a special article in the constitution to implement President Emmanuel Macron’s most important reform project. This increases the retirement age from 62 to 64 years. The concern was that not enough MPs would agree to the reform.
Protests also broke out in other French cities such as Marseille, Dijon, Nantes, Rennes, Rouen, Grenoble, Toulouse and Nice. The unions called for a new nationwide day of strikes and protests for next Thursday. Millions of people had already taken to the streets against the reform project.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin instructed the police to give special protection to MPs in the face of the ongoing protests. The parliamentarians are exposed to threats, insults and damage to property, the minister wrote, as reported by France Info.