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Retirement age protests 'paralyze' schools and public transport in France

Retirement age protests 'paralyze' schools and public transport in

A nationwide strike is underway in France amid a second wave of protests against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Eight major unions are taking part in the strike, which is disrupting education, public transport and oil refineries.

Unions said half of the country's teachers had joined the strike. The Ministry of Education said the number was just over a quarter.

Macron's government is pressing ahead with pension age reforms despite opinion polls suggesting two-thirds of voters oppose the changes, which begin their passage through the National Assembly next week.

Without a majority in parliament, the government will have to rely on right-wing republicans for support as well as ruling party MPs.

Ahead of the main protest in Paris, thousands of marchers turned out in Toulouse, Marseille and Nice in the south and Saint Nazaire, Nantes and Rennes in the west.

Street protests are expected in at least 200 cities and around 11,000 police have been deployed to cover the demonstrations.

There was a serious disruption in transport. Meanwhile, the CGT union said at least three-quarters of workers had walked out of major TotalEnergies oil refineries and fuel depots, although the company said the number was much lower.

Power plants reported production cuts after workers went on strike at the main electricity company EDF. One of the main teachers' unions said around 55% of secondary school teachers had left.

Source: BBC


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