Protestors wear Guy Fawkes and Salvador Dali masks as they attend a demonstration during the 31st consecutive day of strike against French government's pensions reform plans in Paris on Saturday.
Protestors wear Guy Fawkes and Salvador Dali masks as they attend a demonstration during the 31st consecutive day of strike against French government's pensions reform plans in Paris on Saturday.

Tear gas, flares cover skies as yellow vests, pension reform protestors get back on Paris streets

ANI | Updated: Jan 04, 2020 23:23 IST

Paris [France], Jan 4 (ANI): Thousands of anti-government and yellow-vests protestors took to streets of the French capital on Saturday as the city headed for a chaotic weekend over President Emmanuel Macron's proposed pension reforms.
Witnessing a full month of protests against the controversial reform, France entered the 31st consecutive day of the general strike.
Moreover, Saturday's action coincided with Act 60 of the anti-government yellow vests protests that have been plaguing France for over a year now, RT reported.
The yellow vests movement or yellow jackets movement is a populist, grassroots political movement for economic justice that began in France in October 2018.
After an online petition posted in May had attracted nearly a million signatures, mass demonstrations began on November 17, 2018.
The protestors today carried the flags of various trade unions, as well as assorted banners that primarily targetted pension reform. Some of them lit firecrackers during the march.
One man, however, was spotted carrying a large plush heart, bearing a very personal message for French President Emmanuel Macron, reading "Macron, I hate you with all my heart."
So far, the protest remains relatively peaceful despite large numbers of people attending -- only minor clashes with the police and very limited use of tear gas were reported.
The pension protests, broadly supported by French trade unions, kicked off in early December last year, taking the form of mass rallies, attempts to block infrastructure, strikes and work walkouts.
The unrest was triggered by the government's plan to scrap the existing 42 pension schemes and roll out a unified, points-based one instead.
Critics of the reform accuse the government of trying to rip the workers off and stealing their hard-earned benefits, such as the right to early retirement for certain jobs.
The authorities, however, maintain the reform is actually designed to simplify the pension system and make it more transparent. (ANI)

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