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Why are French people protesting? Riot police clash with crowds in Paris

Workers have been striking to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise the pension age, with more than 70 per cent of the public against the move, according to polls.

Sanitation workers have extended their strike, with thousands of tonnes of rubbish piling up in the streets of Paris.

Opponents of the pension reforms have called Macron’s decision a “complete failure of government”.

Why are French people protesting?

People in France are protesting President Macron’s use of an emergency presidential decree to push through a rise in the pension age from 62 to 64.

Mr Macron is forcing through a rise in the retirement age without a parliamentary vote.

The Senate passed the legislation on Thursday morning, and it was due to go to a National Assembly vote in the afternoon.

Instead, Mr Macron used an emergency presidential decree to allow the legislation without a vote.

The prime minister of France, Elisabeth Borne, announced the move in parliament, saying: “We cannot take a gamble on the future of our pensions system.”

Marine Le Pen, the National Rally MP who came second to Mr Macron in the past two presidential elections, said: “This is a complete failure of government”.

She called for a no-confidence vote in the Macron administration and said it was a “failure of democracy”.

Who is striking in France?

Refuse collectors have extended their strike, which has been ongoing for nine days, for another five days. More than 7,000 tonnes of rubbish is piling up on the streets of Paris as a result.

Under Macron’s proposal to raise the general retirement age from 62 to 64, refuse collectors would have their retirement age increased from 57 to 59.

Earlier this month, travel to and from France was disrupted due to a general strike in protest of the pension reforms. Train and metro services were cancelled, and people travelling to France by train, ferry, or plane were warned of travel delays.

More strikes and protests are expected following Macron’s actions on Thursday. As of 9am on Friday, the Paris ring road had been shut down, along with the port of Calais and numerous oil refineries.

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