Students shout slogans against the French government’s plan to raise the retirement age during a demonstration in Paris on Thursday. The poster reads “Sarko-Fillon, Breakers of Society”—referring to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his camp are trying to keep their cool and push on with a vote on pension reform that would change France’s official retirement age, but the opposition isn’t backing down. In fact, labor unions have set aside two more days to strike—Oct. 28 and Nov. 6—and in the meantime, everyone from school kids to transportation workers is doing his or her part to make things difficult for the government. —KA
The Washington Post:
Unions vowed that their striking workers would keep disrupting rail and road transportation. Teenagers marched through the streets and pledged to go on boycotting their schools. The government, trying to appear unfazed, urged Parliament to ignore the chaos and speed up the vote on a bitterly contested pension reform.
France remained stuck Thursday in what has become a major test of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative presidency—the turmoil caused by a nationwide strike and protest movement that has maintained its momentum well into a second month.