France President, Wife Escape Frustrated Protesters

Cheryl Sanders
January 20, 2020

"All in all a general strike", cried the demonstrators during the roughly one-hour battle with the riot police.

The police prevented about three dozen protesters from forcing their way into the theater Friday night, where Macron and his wife Brigitte were watching "La Mouche (The Fly)", the Telegraph reported.

The landmark was chosen as a demonstration site because it is where French President Emmanuel Macron celebrated his victory in the May 2017 presidential election.

Yellow Vests have been taking to the French streets every weekend since November 2018.

"When there are marches and so on, you hear people saying "Death to the Rotonde, Death to Macron" - it happens all the time: anonymous phone calls, people who enter in the middle of the day saying "Death to Macron", Gerard Tafanel, who owns the bistrot with his brother Serge, told AFP.

"I think it's fine if they want to protest, but they shouldn't block the plans of the people who have flown over here to see an exhibition of Leonardo", said Ben Garrett of Dallas, Texas.

Though it is now easing, the strike has snarled train and metro traffic and caused misery for millions of commuters in Paris especially.

President Macron's reforms aim to forge a single pensions system from the country's 42 separate regimes.

"It's out of the question that he (Macron) touches our pensions. We have worked all our lives to be able to leave with a decent retirement", he said.

The transport unions have joined forces with the yellow vests, which accuse Macron of governing on behalf of an urban elite while ignoring residents of the provinces and the countryside, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.

Critics say the reforms will actually force millions of people to work longer for a smaller pension.

The headquarters of the moderate CFDT union, which the government has been trying to win over, was invaded on Friday by activists from other unions, while the Louvre Museum was blocked by striking staff.

The Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum, reopened on Saturday after being shut down by workers opposed to the pension overhaul.

Other reports by iNewsToday