Europe News Desk!!! Protesters once again clashed with police in central Paris over the French government’s pension reforms. Thousands of protesters lit fires and some threw firecrackers at police. Police used teargas to disperse them. It has been a second night of unrest since President Emmanuel Macron decided without a vote to push through controversial reforms to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, the BBC reported. Proposals have been filed. The first resolution was signed by independents and members of the left-wing NUPS coalition in parliament, while the second came from the far-right National Rally party. According to the BBC report, the debate between the two is expected to take place early next week. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally MPs in Parliament, called the decision to go ahead with pension changes a complete failure for the government.
Police arrested dozens of people during the unrest in the Place de la Concorde near the parliament building, the BBC reported. The BBC said protests also took place in other French cities on Friday – notably in Bodre, Toulon and Strasbourg. “We will not give up,” a protester told AFP news agency. There is still hope that the reform can be cancelled. Another told Reuters it was an affront to democracy to push legislation forward without a vote.. a complete denial of what has been happening in the streets for several weeks. The government has said that pension changes are necessary to ensure that the system is not overburdened and that it is prevented from collapsing. But many, including union members, disagree and France has now seen more than two months of heated political debate and strikes over the issue.
Transport, public services and schools have all been affected, the BBC reports, while thousands of tonnes of rubbish have been seen littering the streets of the capital as waste collectors walk away. Fuel deliveries have also been blocked and a large refinery in Normandy plans to shut production in the coming days. The head of the liberal CFDT union, Laurent Berger, said a change of government or prime minister would not extinguish the fire, unless the reform was rolled back.
World News Desk!!!