King Charles III's visit to France postponed due to protests

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King Charles III's visit to France postponed due to protests

French gendarmes in the middle of tear gas during clashes with demonstrators, Thursday, in Nantes.

The day after a day of strong mobilization and violence in France, which led to the unprecedented postponement of the visit of King Charles III, the main reformist trade union center again called on the government on Friday to postpone its pension reform.

Friday morning drama: the Élysée announced that the state visit of King Charles III which was to begin on Sunday has been postponed, at the request of Emmanuel Macron , made a point of specifying Downing Street.

The decision was taken after a telephone exchange between the President of the Republic and the King this morning, in order to be able to welcome His Majesty King Charles III under conditions which correspond to our relationship of friendship, writes the French presidency.

King Charles III

This decision falls the day after x27; a day of demonstrations and a night of violence in several places in the country.

Entering its third month, the protest against the postponement of the retirement age to 64 brought together Thursday between 1.089 million demonstrators (Ministry of the Interior) and 3.5 million (CGT union ) for the ninth day of mobilization.

The general secretary of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, called, as the day before, the government to put on hold its pension reform, and to open a more global negotiation with the unions.

You have to give yourself six months to look, and on work and on pensions, how things have to be taken back to where they are, he said on RTL.

Faced with a risk of total blockage carrying serious dangers, he proposed a broad negotiation, a way of allowing the government, until now inflexible, to get out of the impasse in which it was seems to be.

Everyone is worried this morning because there has been violence which is unacceptable […], we must calm things down now, before there is a tragedy, he said. said.

I had an adviser from the Élysée, […] it's time to say: "Listen, we do a break, we say we wait six months." We must send a signal to the world of work. That would calm things down, he said.

A tenth day of action is scheduled for Tuesday.

A demonstration, a week after the government passed a pension reform in parliament without a vote.

The use of 49.3, an article of the French Constitution drawn by the government to force through the Assembly its pension reform, and the intervention on Wednesday by President Emmanuel Macron have stirred up the ardor of opponents, according to critics of the reform.

We feel that there is an extremely strong momentum from the population, a public opinion that is largely convinced and so there you go, as long as there is a timetable that allows us to act, we are mobilized , commented Marylise Léon, number two of the CFDT union.

The unions met again on Tuesday with demonstrators and strikers, and local rallies are planned for this weekend .

The violence, which had so far been only sporadic, has also made a dramatic appearance in the game between the government and the unions.

The mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmic, in front of the burnt door of the Bordeaux city hall, on March 24, 2023, the day after it was set on fire by demonstrators during a rally against the pension reform.

< p class="e-p">Door of the town hall of Bordeaux set on fire, scenes of chaos denounced by the mayor of Rennes, water cannons in Lille and Toulouse, demonstrator with a thumb torn off in Rouen, police station targeted in Lorient, etc. The violence has escalated almost everywhere. Unacceptable, judged Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

In Paris, violence broke out at the head of the demonstration with their share of broken windows and destroyed street furniture, and incidents continued in the evening in the wake of so-called wild processions. Countdown to a parade where the vast majority of protesters marched peacefully.

Trash lights, sirens and flashing lights streaked on a night when clusters of protesters played tag and mouse with law enforcement.

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, reported 457 arrests and 441 injuries in the ranks of the police. He denounced the violence of thugs who often came from the extreme left.

The government remains inflexible regarding its reform. Emmanuel Macron, who was in Brussels on Thursday for a European summit, had the day before defended tooth and nail a necessary reform for public finances, assuming his unpopularity.

National Secretary of the Communist Party Frenchman, Fabien Roussel, called for the country to be brought to a standstill, and the leader of the radical left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for throwing all the forces into battle.

For the leader of the extreme right, Marine Le Pen, unfortunate finalist of the last presidential election, Emmanuel Macron can no longer govern alone, he must now come back to the people.

Irony of the situation: Iran, whose government uses terrible repression, called on France on Friday to avoid violence and to listen to the demonstrators.

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