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Protesters in French cities for sixth day


Big News Network.com     Tuesday 19th October, 2010

The sixth day of nationwide strikes has passed in France with citizens rejecting plans to reform the country’s pension law.

The sixth day of nationwide strikes has passed in France with citizens rejecting plans to reform the country’s pension law.

The final vote on the unpopular reform raises the age of retirement by two years, is due this weekend.

While the unions have said they are determined to stop the government from carrying out the proposed reforms, President Sarkozy has refused to back down.

The French opposition and unions have been out in force, with Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry saying the president should go along with the unions and suspend the pensions debate in the Senate.

Bernard Thibault, leader of the CGT, the country’s biggest union said: “The head of state and the government cannot just push ahead with something as important as retirement reform while three quarters of the country are backing our action”.

The unions have already defeated pension and labour reforms with strikes in 1995 and 2006.

Meanwhile the French government has said it will run a crisis meeting to decide how to deal with demonstrator violence which has hit some areas.

President Sarkozy, refusing to make any concessions, has said he is concerned violence might get out of hand but he must still work to ensure “the financing of pensions for today and tomorrow”.

A school was burned down on Tuesday as students again confronted police during the nationwide strikes.

Police have said they suspect arson in the fire that razed a school in the city of Le Mans.

The blaze followed a demonstration by students at the gates of the school.

Students at a secondary school in Nanterre, near Paris, again clashed with police.

The school had been the site of many violent confrontations on Monday, during which a number of cars were set on fire.

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