French police fire tear gas at strikers challenging reform

French CRS riot police face off with protesters during clashes at a demonstration against the government’s pensions reform plans in Paris, France on Dec. 5. REUTERS/GONZALO FUENTES
French CRS riot police face off with protesters during clashes at a demonstration against the government’s pensions reform plans in Paris, France on Dec. 5. REUTERS/GONZALO FUENTES

PARIS – Police fired tear gas at protesters in the center of Paris on Thursday, aimed at forcing President Emmanuel Macron to ditch a planned reform of pensions.

Nearby, police used truncheons to defend themselves from black-clad protesters who rushed at them.

Prosecutors said a total of 57 people were detained.

Macron wants to simplify France’s pension system, which comprises over 40 different plans, many with different retirement ages and benefits. Rail workers, mariners and Paris Opera House ballet dancers can retire up to a decade earlier than the average worker.

Macron says the system is unfair and too costly. He wants a single, points-based system under which for each euro contributed, every pensioner has equal rights.(Reuters)

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