Europe

In pictures: French workers strike over pension reforms

Protesters hold a sign reading "Let's Revolt" during a demonstration against pension reforms in Paris, France, 05 December 2019. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Protesters hold a sign reading "Let's Revolt" as workers around the country strike over planned pension reforms

Workers have taken to the streets across France to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's planned pension reforms.

The nation's biggest strike in years has brought many areas to a standstill.

Police, lawyers, doctors and transport staff are among those protesting against Mr Macron's plans to introduce a universal points-based pension system.

Many workers say the planned reforms would force them to retire later or face reduced payouts.

Huge crowds marched through Paris and other cities such as Bordeaux.

Protesters participate in a demonstration against pension reforms in Bordeaux, France, 05 December 2019. Image copyright EPA

Firefighters are among those who say they will lose out if Mr Macron introduces the reforms. France's current system has 42 different pension schemes for its private and public sectors, with variations in retirement age and benefits.

Mr Macron's unified system would reward employees for each day worked, awarding points that would later be transferred into future pension benefits.

Firefighters hold placards and a smoke-bomb as they take part in a demonstration to protest against the pension overhauls, in Marseille, southern France, on 5 December, 2019 Image copyright AFP

This man protesting in the city of Marseille has "SOS firefighters in danger" written on his back.

A firefighter with a vest reading "SOS firefighters in danger" takes part in a demonstration to protest against the pension overhauls, in Marseille, southern France, on 5 December, 2019 Image copyright AFP

Some workers lit flares and waved smoke bombs.

A French SNCF railway worker on strike holds a flare as he walks through Gare du Nord railway station before a demonstration against the French government's pension reform plans in Paris as part of a day of national strike and protests in France, 5 December, 2019. Image copyright Reuters
A man wearing a clown mask and waving a smoke bomb takes part in a demonstration to protest against the pension overhauls, in Marseille, southern France, on 5 December, 2019. Image copyright AFP

This protester in Marseille carried a picture of Mr Macron with the words "la chute" (the fall) written across it.

A woman holds a placard bearing a photo of French President Emmanuel Macron with the words "La Chute" (The Fall) during a protest against the pension overhauls, in Marseille, southern France, on 5 December, 2019. Image copyright AFP

Clashes broke out between protesters and riot police in the city of Nantes. Some demonstrators were seen building makeshift barricades, while security forces fired tear gas.

Protesters dressed in black build a barricade amid tear gas smoke during a demonstration to protest against the pension overhauls, in Nantes, on December 5, 2019, Image copyright AFP
A protester dressed in black walks amid tear gas smoke during a protest against the pension overhauls, in Nantes, on 5 December, 2019. Image copyright AFP

This woman in Bordeaux covered her face as police fired tear gas.

woman covers face, Bordeaux Image copyright AFP

Similar scenes were seen in Paris, where demonstrators were pictured vandalising property and there were clashes with police.

Protesters react amid tear gas during clashes at a demonstration in Paris on 5 December, 2019. Image copyright Reuters
Demonstrators overturn a container during a demonstration against the pension overhauls, in Paris, on 5 December, 2019. Image copyright AFP
police and protesters in paris Image copyright Reuters

Train and metro stations in Paris were among the transport services affected.

A closed entrance of the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile RER train station is seen during a strike by French transportation workers in Paris on 5 December, 2019. Image copyright Reuters

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