Thousands stage protest against Emmanuel Macron and his new reforms

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 27, 2018, 11:41 AM IST

File photo of French President Emmanuel Macron. Photograph:(Reuters)

Tens of thousands of people participated in a protest against the French president Emmanuel Macron's public sector reforms on Saturday.

People from the far left party, General Confederation of Labour trade union and various other 60 organisations participated in the marches and rallies held across France.

Reuters reported that citing General Confederation of Labour that 80,000 people participated in the protest in Paris and 250,000 came out nationwide.

However, the Police has said that only 21,000 people came for the protest.

The clashes between forces and demonstrators were also reported during the protest

Dozens of hooded demonstrators pelted bottles at police to which authorities responded with tear gas. Seven officers got hurt in the clashes.

Thirty five demonstrators were reportedly detained for various offences including carrying arms and vandalising public property.

The protestors of various unions, opposition parties and other groups protesting against the public sector reforms proposed by Emmanuel Macron as they believe that it favours more to the rich ones.

However, Mcron's has said that he "will not stop the progress" to the people demonstrating while he was in Russia.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the far left France Unbowed party has listed various grievances like staff shortages in hospitals, limited admissions at the universities and lack of police in tough neighbourhoods to which the government has said that it does not have the means to fund them, Reuters reported.

Saturday's march are following the series strikes called by public sector employees from April.

Protesters are expected to hold rallies in at least 160 places across France, General Confederation of Labour Secretary General Philippe Martinez said, adding that Macron should listen to the growing anger.

Emmanuel Macron is under fire since the start of the year for his new reforms.

In April he made a controversial proposal to privatise its debt-ridden SNCF railway company. The proposal face strikes from rail workers, students and civil servants.

The state-owned railway firm which operates most of the railway network of France is currently on the decline. It is reportedly under dept of €45 billion.

Parliament's lower house also passed a reform bill in April under which special employment benefits including job-for life guarantee and early retirement were scrapped.

A new bill was also designed to tighten France’s immigration and asylum policies.

(With inputs from news agencies)