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France Strikes Intensify as Anger Mounts Against Raising Retirement Age

Labor unions are trying to raise the pressure on the government

Strikes in France brought trains to a halt and protesters flooded the streets, clashing with police in some cities on Thursday, after President Emmanuel Macron pledged to implement legislation raising the retirement age.

Transport employees, teachers and workers around the country marched against the pension law, which raises the minimum retirement age by two years to 64. Riot police scuffled with protesters in cities including Bordeaux, Rennes and Nantes, as people chanted and lit flares outside Gare du Nord train station in Paris.

Labor unions are trying to raise the pressure on the government, a day after Macron gave a television interview that stoked their anger. The president doubled down on the pension overhaul as the best way to ensure the future of France’s generous pension system, in part due to rising life expectancy, and said those opposed needed to face reality.

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