France’s Interior Ministry said that an estimated 1.12 million French people took to the streets across the country to protest against the government’s controversial pension reform plan.
The CGT, France’s largest union, estimated the nationwide protest number at 2 million. According to the Ministry on Thursday, in Paris alone, 80,000 demonstrators expressed their discontent.
Simultaneously, workers in several sectors staged a 24-hour strike. The rate of strikers at the French national railway company SNCF alone reached 46.3 per cent, which resulted in numerous cancellations of regional and national services, Xinhua news agency reported.
In the Ile-de France region where Paris is situated, the public transport sector reduced the frequency of metros and tramways.
On January 10, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne laid out details of the country’s controversial pension reform plan, which would progressively raise the legal retirement age gradually by three months a year from 62 to 64 years by 2030 and would put in place a guaranteed minimum pension.
Borne told a press conference that starting from 2027, people will have to work 43 years to qualify for a full pension.
In 2019, demonstrations were also held in France against the pension reform, but then only 800,000 people participated, according to the Interior Ministry.