Chaos: Police deployed, flights canceled PHOTO/VIDEO

French unions organizing protests against pension reform have announced new protests, the first since the recent adoption of the pension reform law.

Source: Beta
Tanjug/AP Photo/Daniel Cole
Tanjug/AP Photo/Daniel Cole

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that an additional 12,000 policemen and gendarmes will be deployed across the country, 5,000 of which will be in Paris, French online television BFMTV reported.

Darmanin repeated that in France there is freedom of expression, but not the right to create riots and incidents at street protests.

France's civil aviation authority has asked airlines to cancel about 30 percent of their flights at Paris Orly airport and 20 percent at other airports today. Air France has announced that it will keep all long-haul flights, especially at Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

Rail traffic is also expected to be disrupted. Unions organizing the protests said on Wednesday after Emmanuel Macron's interview that they were disappointed, adding that French President had shown "contempt for millions of protesters".

The president of France said that the unpopular pension reform should be implemented by the end of the year and that he is ready to be unpopular because of it. In an interview with the French TV channels TF1 and France 2, Macron said that the reform is necessary and that he is not carrying it out for pleasure.

"I am not looking to be re-elected. Between short-term polls about the popularity of the public and the general interest of the country, I choose the interest of the country," Macron said, adding that he is ready to be unpopular.

The French and part of the opposition are unhappy because the reform foresees moving the retirement age from 62 to 64.

On Tuesday, Macron rejected the reshuffle of the government, the dissolution of parliament and the calling of a referendum on pension reform.

French President said he has confidence in Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, who recently used her constitutional right to pass a pension reform bill without a vote in parliament.

That is why opposition MPs submitted two motions of no confidence in the government, which did not pass in parliament.

This was expected because Macron's coalition has a relative majority and the law had the support of some opposition parties, including the traditional right-wing party, the Republicans.


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