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Published On: Tue, Sep 12th, 2017

‘HE WANTED THIS’ Furious backlash against President Macron as protests sweep France


Around 180 street protests have been planned nationwide by French unions against the president’s proposed reforms, which are aimed at reducing unemployment by by reducing restrictions on how businesses hire and fire people. 

France’s biggest trade union, the CGT, has called 4,000 strikes across the country and students, civil servants and rail workers show their anger at the young president.

Pictures and videos have emerged on social media of people protesting with smoke of flares and flags in cities across the country including Lyon, Paris and Rennes. 

The new rules would mean that small firms could negotiate directly with individual employees rather than a union branch. 

, 39, is adamant that his country would be “turning the page on three decades of inefficiency” by enforcing the reforms. 

Police officers have been arguing with stallholders blocking the Place de la Concorde square in Paris as they protest against the labour law reforms. 

Around 60,000 protesters have taken to the streets of Marseilles. 

Olivier Mateu, a CGT secretary in Bouches-du-Rhône, said: “Everyone has their own reasons to be out here on the streets. 

“The president and his prime minister want a complete rethinking of our social system. No one will be spared, everyone is worried.”

The centrist president wants to reinvigorate the economy and use executive orders to get his labour reforms through. 

He hopes to bring down France’s unemployment rate, which at 9.5 per cent is double that of Britain or Germany. 

The CGT chief Philippe Martinez said: “This is not a labour law, it is a law that gives full powers to employers.”

One of the contenders to be French president earlier this year Jean-Luc Melenchon said at a rally today: “Mr Macron understood that it was going to be a struggle, he wanted it and now it is up to us to take on the challenge.”

Mr Macron became president five months ago and his popularity has dramatically slid since then. 

As his country protests against his reforms, he has had to visit the Caribbean where many of the French overseas territories have been devastated by Hurricane Irma. 



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