No School, No Train, No Tourism: France Goes On Strike

PARIS (AP) – Teachers, doctors, lawyers and workers of the Eiffel Tower were some of the French workers who went on strike on Tuesday, to oppose a rise in the retirement age and preserve a pension system that they feared the president would have, related to the business sector, I would like to dismantle.

Neighbors and tourists faced a 13th day of complications in displacements by continuing the train drivers strike against the reform undertaken by the president, Emmanuel Macron, of a pension system that now allowed them to retire even before the age of 60. Some parents found the schools closed, and important exams were canceled because the teachers joined the strikes.

The hospitals imposed minimum services on Tuesday before the strike of nurses, doctors and pharmacists to request protection from a system of public hospitals once prestigious and now battered after years of cuts.


There was a new protest called for Tuesday afternoon in the capital, and the police cordoned off the Elysee Palace, Macron's official residence, hours in advance in anticipation of possible violence by Yellow Vests activists or other radical protesters outraged by economic injustice

The pressure grew on Macron after the main ideologue of his pension reform resigned on Monday due to alleged conflicts of interest.

At the moment, his government maintained plans to raise the retirement age to 64, although last week he made concessions postponing the application of the rule and opened the door to further negotiations.

"The reform remains … we will not withdraw it," government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye told BFM television.

Several European countries have raised the retirement age or reduced pensions in recent years to adjust to the increase in life expectancy and economic slowdown. Macron claimed that France should do the same.

The unions feared that people would have to work longer to receive smaller pensions, and polls indicated that at least half of the French supported the strike.

However, frustration began to grow. On Tuesday, only two of the 16 metro lines in Paris and a quarter of the high-speed trains that cross the country were operating normally. International routes were also affected.

The workers' unions of the state railway network SNCF wanted to keep the strike during the Christmas holidays, and the government was looking for solutions.