France: Massive Strike Over Pension Reform

Image copyright: AFP [via France24]

The Facts

  • France's interior ministry estimates that 1.28M people participated in a nationwide strike against French President Macron's plans to raise the retirement age to 64.

  • Unions are calling for a nationwide day of strikes and demonstrations to protest the government's proposed pension reform. The unions hope to repeat the success of their first major protest on Jan. 19, when more than a million people demonstrated.

The Spin

Left narrative

The determination and spirit shown by the unions and the left-leaning parties are not just an ideological attack against Macron's policies, but also a preemptive strike against the threat of Marine Le Pen's far-right politics. The risk of the Rassemblement National is on everyone's mind, and to fight against such danger via strikes and protests is no longer a moral struggle but a moral obligation.

Right narrative

While the central parties, with the help of the left, seek to use the strikes to pressure the government, there’s no guarantee of success. Much is dependent on whether the unions will decide to follow up on their protests, which will only be decided on the evening of the demonstrations.

Political split



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