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1 million French protest in the streets

More than one million people took to the streets yesterday Thursday in France in a day of strike against the project to delay the retirement age to 64 years of President Emmanuel Macron, who stakes his political credit.

From Marseille to Nantes, passing through Paris, a tide of people demonstrated against a reform they consider unfair, but which the government defends as the only way to avoid a future deficit in the pension fund.

"They are taking us for a ride! They don't know what it's like to work until the age of 64 under these conditions and they might as well find the money elsewhere, especially by taxing capital," assured Manon Marc, a school animator, in Paris.

Although the Interior Ministry put the number of demonstrators at 1.12 million, well below the "more than two million" announced by the CGT union, the organizers' target of one million was exceeded.

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne highlighted the "good" development of the protests, but showed no signs of backing down: "Let's keep debating and convincing," she tweeted.

The reform is one of the key measures that the 45-year-old centrist leader promised during his re-election campaign in April, after a first project in 2020 that he abandoned because of the arrival of the pandemic.

"It is a reform above all fair and responsible," which was "democratically presented and validated," Macron defended from Barcelona, where he participated in a Spanish-French summit.

Although his intention was to delay it from 62 to 65 years, approaching the rest of European countries, his prime minister proposed 64, but bringing forward to 2027 the requirement to contribute 43 years to collect a full pension.

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