Paris, March 16 – Clashes between police and opponents of pension reform intensified in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, the News Agency correspondent reported from the scene.
A protest against pension reform was held on Thursday near the Place de la Concorde in Paris, near the Elysee Palace. Police said more than 6,000 people are taking part.
The police try to clear the area of the demonstrators, but they do not disperse. Protesters burn rubbish bins and Place de la Concorde is in smoke. Police and gendarmerie reinforcements arrived at the scene, in addition to firefighters who put out the fires.
Earlier, a correspondent for the News Agency reported that the rally in Paris was peaceful, but by evening the demonstrators began to build barricades of fences and boards, and then burn them. In addition, they started throwing rocks and bottles at the police. In response, law enforcement officers used tear gas, and later water cannons.
Opponents of pension reform gathered on Thursday outside the French National Assembly (the lower house of parliament) in Paris, where a vote on the bill was due. Later, the protesters moved to the Place de la Concorde.
The French authorities passed a controversial bill to reform the pension system without a vote in Parliament, with the help of Article 49.3 of the country’s constitution. Now the increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years will be determined at the legislative level and will enter into force within six months.
The reform caused a wave of protests in French society. Within two months, eight nationwide strikes had already taken place in France, and the trade unions staged hundreds of demonstrations against them. Most of them have gathered more than a million participants across the country. The protests were accompanied by massacres and clashes between law enforcement officers and demonstrators.
Melenchon described reforming the French pension system as illegal