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French police stand in position as fireworks go off during clashes with youth in Nanterre, a Paris suburb.

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Violent protests in France keep Macron at home

French President Emmanuel Macron was forced to cancel a state visit to Germany on Sunday – which would have been the first such event in 23 years – as riots continued across France. The now out-of-control situation was sparked by the June 27 killing of a young Arab man by a cop at a traffic stop in a Parisian suburb.

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Firefighters extinguish burning vehicles during clashes between protesters and police in Paris, France.

REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

French outrage over teenager shot dead by cops

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron held a crisis meeting of his government after a second night of clashes between protesters and cops over the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old in Nanterre. The teenager, who was reportedly from a family of Algerian origin, was killed during a traffic stop on Tuesday morning. At least 150 people were arrested overnight as the protests spread from Paris to other cities, with vehicles set ablaze and tear gas fired.

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Unions attend the traditional May Day labor march to protest against the French pension reform law in Paris.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Hard Numbers: French union unity, German “revolution,” Sudanese exodus, missing Iranian data point, South Korean art heist that’s truly bananas

8: Across France, hundreds of thousands of people joined May Day protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. For the first time since 2009, all eight of the country’s top trade unions joined the rallies — a testament to the outrage at Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

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French protests strengthen the far right & far left
French protests strengthen the far-right & far-left | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

French protests strengthen the far right & far left

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Venice, Italy, on the French protests and Boris Johnson's Partygate fallout.

What's really happening in France?

It's a very difficult situation. Protests all over the place. The political landscape is fractured. What's going to happen in the National Assembly is everyone's guess. And it is, for the moment, strengthen both the far right and the far left, with the center of French politics imploding. Difficult situation for Macron. Let's hope that he gets through it.

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Demonstration against pension reform took place in Bordeaux.


Rage and violence paralyze France

Days after the French government passed much-despised pension reforms, chaos reigns throughout the country.

At least 457 people were arrested and more than 441 security personnel were injured on Thursday in protests over the reforms, which will incrementally increase the retirement age from 62 to 64. For background on why President Emmanuel Macron says the reforms are central to plugging France’s ballooning debt hole and boosting productivity, see here.

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A cross-industry strike movement brings together several thousand people in the streets of Lille, France.


What We’re Watching: Macron’s challenges, Xi’s power play, Iran’s scarfless athlete, Ethiopia’s gains in Tigray

Walkouts put Macron on the spot

France’s notoriously strike-o-phile public sector unions called a nationwide walkout on Tuesday, demanding higher wages in response to high inflation. The move, which mainly affects public transport and trains, comes amid weeks-long strikes by workers at major oil companies and nuclear plants. Although inflation in France has softened compared to other Western European nations, the country is still seeing its fastest price increases since the mid-1980s. For President Emmanuel Macron, who was reelected in April, the strikes and protests are a taste of the troubles he may face in the coming months. His 2023 budget is caught in a parliamentary crossfire as MPs on the right and left try to cram in more spending and larger tax increases than Macron wants. Meanwhile, winter is fast approaching, with uncertain consequences for the French public’s energy bills – though the Parisian parkour set is doing its graceful best to address the problem every night. And Macron is still aiming to push through a major — and deeply unpopular — pension reform before next spring.

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