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Violence escalates in Paris as pension demonstrations continue

Violence escalates in Paris as pension demonstrations continue

Protesters battled with police in central Paris once more over the French government’s pension plans.

Thousands of protesters set fires and some threw firecrackers at police, who dispersed them with tear gas.

It is the second night of disturbance since President Emmanuel Macron opted to impose unpopular measures raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote.

In response, no-confidence motions have been lodged against his government.

The first was signed by independents and members of parliament’s left-wing Nupes alliance, while the second was signed by the far-right National Rally party.

Both are scheduled for debate early next week.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally MPs in parliament, branded the decision to push through the pension changes “a terrible failure for the administration”.

During the commotion in Place de la Concorde, near the parliament building, police arrested scores of people.

Protests were also held in several French towns on Friday, including Bordeaux, Toulon, and Strasbourg.

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The administration has stated that pension adjustments are necessary to keep the system from being overwhelmed and from collapsing.

Many others, including union members, disagree, and the subject has sparked more than two months of fierce political debate and strikes in France.

Transport, public services, and schools have all been disrupted, and hundreds of tonnes of garbage have been left on the streets of the capital as a result of a rolling strike by waste collectors.

Gasoline supply has also been halted, and a huge refinery in Normandy is set to shut down in the coming days.

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