Eiffel Tower A Casualty As Major Strike Over Macron's Pension Reform Paralyses France

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A nation-wide strike in France, in which millions of workers, police and other professionals started a general walkout, has severely disrupted the country

Written By Kunal Gaurav | Mumbai | Updated On:

A nation-wide strike in France, in which millions of transport workers, police and other professionals started a general walkout, has severely disrupted the country. Workers are holding demonstrations against pension reforms proposed by the French President Emmanuel Macron.

Transport networks heavily hit

On the morning of December 5, transport networks were heavily hit by the strikes and reportedly, in some areas, it came to a near-halt. It has affected buses, trains and flights and the capital’s subway system faced major disruption. Several nurses and hospital staff also took part in the strike which has impacted emergency response services as they are running on thin staffing. The Eiffel tower has been shut down for the day and the authorities have warned the tourist to stay away from the global cultural symbol of France.

“I arrived at the airport this morning and I had no idea about the strike happening, and I was waiting for 2 hours at the airport for the train to arrive and it didn’t arrive,” said vacationer Ian Crossen, from New York. “I feel a little bit frustrated. And I’ve spent a lot of money. I’ve spent money I didn’t need to, apparently,” he added.

Read: Emmanuel Macron Braces For Biggest Strike During His Presidency

Some trade unions have even warned to continue industrial action until Macron announces reversal on his campaign promise. Macron wants to move away from the current system of dozens of pension schemes to a universal points-based pension system, aimed at rewarding employees based on their daily work. Unions are unhappy with the pension reforms since they are being forced to retire later or avail reduced pensions. The official retirement age in France is currently 62 but according to the new plan, anyone retiring before 64 will get a lower pension.

Read: France Summons Turkish Envoy Over Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'insults'

France has been facing various protests in recent times, especially from the yellow vest protesters who began a revolutionary movement in 2018 demanding economic justice. They have been demanding increment in minimum wages and protesting against tax burden, rising fuel prices and high cost of living. The protesters chose yellow vests as "a unifying thread and call to arms” since these are accessible, cost-effective, convenient, and associated with working-class industries.

Read: Zinedine Zidane's Kopa Trophy Voting List Revealed By France Football; Fans Surprised

Read: Anti-hate Crime Office Instituted In France Amid Anti-Semitic Wave; Corbyn Slammed In UK

(With Inputs from Agencies)

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