Macron’s doubling down on pensions further escalates protests


French workers have taken to the streets once again in protest of President Emmanuel Macron's proposed pension reforms, which include raising the retirement age by two years to 64.

These protests have included wildcat actions by small groups of protesters, who have blocked access to schools and roads, and disrupted train tracks and flight services.

Opinion polls show that a majority of voters oppose the pension changes, and Macron’s decision to push the law through parliament without a vote has only increased the anger.

Protests have been ongoing since January, but have escalated in recent weeks, with rubbish bins set ablaze and scuffles with police.

The latest wave of protests is the most serious challenge to Macron's authority since the “Yellow Vest” revolt four years ago. Despite the protests, Macron has stood firm on his stance and has tasked his prime minister with finding more support for the government.

Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt has expressed a desire to renew dialogue with the unions, including on issues such as how companies share their profits with workers.