Police clash in Paris with protesters against raising the retirement age

French interior minister warns of ‘very real dangers.

Clashes erupted in Paris on Tuesday between police and a group of hundreds of demonstrators leading a march by tens of thousands of people protesting against the pension reform.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse the group, some of whom covered their faces with masks and wore black clothes.

Police resorted to violence after they broke into a grocery store and set fire to a garbage container just before the protest march reached La Nación square.

Security forces fired tear gas to “disperse the demonstration”, allow “fire brigades to intervene” and “facilitate the progress of the march”, the Paris police headquarters said, adding that the number of people arrested as of 16:00 GMT stood at 22.

More than half a million demonstrators took part in protests in French cities

Police clash in Paris with protesters against raising retirement age

According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanian, 13000,5500 police and gendarmes – including in Paris – were mobilized on the tenth day of protests against pension reform.

More than half a million demonstrators took part in protests in French cities, according to the French Interior Ministry. Unions say more than two million demonstrators have been mobilized across France.

Protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to delay the retirement age by two years to 64 have so far been largely peaceful.

But anger has mounted since the government pushed the bill through parliament without a vote in mid-March, with opinion polls suggesting things had worsened after footage showing police violence.

Black Block protesters smashed shop windows, destroyed bus stops and looted a McDonald’s branch in Paris during the latest day of protests across France. Other cities have seen similar violence.

The government says the pension bill is necessary so that the system does not go bankrupt, and unions and protesters see other ways to achieve this goal.

The unions asked Macron to withdraw the bill or pause it for some time to calm things down. The legislation has been passed but has not yet been published pending review by the Constitutional Council.

Macron responded that he was ready to talk to the unions but on other matters.

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