Pension reform: At least 108 police injured in May Day protests in cities across France

HY News 02 May, 2023 02:13 pm IST

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French police fired teargas and clashed with demonstrators in Paris and other cities on Monday after trade unions transformed their traditional Labour Day marches into anti-government demonstrations against the rise in the retirement age.

At least 108 police were wounded and 291 people detained across France as violence erupted in several cities on the sidelines of the main union-led marches, the interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said. In Paris, 25 police were injured and 111 people were detained. One police officer suffered serious burns to his hands and face after being hit by a petrol bomb, he said.

Police had been given a last-minute go-ahead to use drones as a security measure after a Paris court rejected a petition from rights groups for them not to be used.

Police deployed tear gas in Toulouse in southern France as tensions erupted during demonstrations, while four cars were set on fire in the southeastern city of Lyon.

Unions had been hoping for a vast turnout across France for the May 1 protests to further rattle Macron, who has been greeted by pot-bashing and jeers as he toured the country seeking to defend the reforms and relaunch his second mandate.

Macron last month signed a law to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, despite months of strikes against the bill.

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