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Paris, Feb 12 – The French Interior Ministry said that about 963,000 people across the country protested against the proposed pension reform, up from the 757,000 recorded five days ago.
As for the CGT, France’s largest union, the number of Saturday’s general mobilisation topped 2.5 million, against some 2 million on Tuesday.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne laid out details of the plan in January, which would progressively raise the legal retirement age by three months a year from 62 to 64 by 2030, and introduce a guaranteed minimum pension.
Starting in 2027, the plan would also require at least 43 years of work to be eligible for a full pension, Xinhua news agency reported.
Though certain regions of France have entered winter school holidays, the number of demonstrators rose in many cities.
In Paris alone, the Paris Police Prefecture counted 93,000 people marching in the streets, a record since the beginning of general mobilisation against the reform.
At least 10 people have been arrested, while a gendarme is injured in the eye, the Paris Police Prefecture added.
Main unions in France also jointly called on workers to “bring France to a halt in all sectors on March 7” if the government and the parliament refuse to hear the population’s contestation.
They threatened to organise actions “to highlight the major social injustice of this reform against women” on March 8, the International Women’s Day.
Air traffic controllers in Paris’ Orly Airport went on an unscheduled strike on Saturday, causing half of the flights at the airport cancelled.
The French Directorate General for Civil Aviation noted that it had not received any notice or call for a strike.
“Minimum service provisions have not been activated”, it said.