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Macron pension reform: France paralyzed by biggest national strike in years

A nationwide strike in France has severely disrupted daily activity, including schools and transportation, as workers protest an increase in retirement age with the consequence of reduced pensions. School and transportation employees joined with police, lawyers, and hospital staff for a walkout that may include millions of people. This may be the biggest national strike over the past several years. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to implement a universal points-based pension system. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner stated that he expected 250 demonstrations across the country, which he fears may turn violent.

On the Champs-Élysées boulevard, riot police searched pedestrians’ bags as shops among the protest route prepared to close for the day. On Thursday morning, transportation networks saw a sharp decrease inactivity. 90% of intercity trains have been canceled, along with buses. In Paris, only five of the city’s 16 metro lines are running. Air travel has experienced the cancellation of hundreds of flights, including 30% of both internal and international flights due to walkouts by air traffic controllers.

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