Thousands of lawyers, doctors and private sector workers took to the streets of Paris on Monday as a parliamentary committee began evaluating the proposed universal pension system on Monday.
“It is not only the lawyers who are not happy, it is the whole country which is not happy. The lawyers are particularly at the point of mobilization as are the railroad workers, the RATP agents, as are the firefighters and at some point, if you do not want a general conflagration of the country, withdraw your reform, Mr Macron,” said Ugo Bernalicis, a parliamentary deputy for La France Insoumise.
Protesters marched through the French capital chanting while holding banners and flares as police were deployed to the area.
“Let the government listen and hear the professionals concerned when there is a functioning and surplus pension plan, there is no reason to cancel it,” said parliamentary deputy for The Republican group Constance Le Grip.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe introduced the proposed pension reform to the cabinet on January 24 January. Debates in the French National Assembly are set to start on February 17 with a first vote scheduled in March.
On December 11 last year, Philippe announced a two-year-extension of the working period necessary to earn a full pension, triggering the ire of workers and trade unions. Macron’s proposed ‘universal system’ would be the biggest change to the country’s pension system since WWII.