Today: Wednesday, 22 May 2024 year

Macron was greeted with a protest of empty pots at Dunkirk.

Macron was greeted with a protest of empty pots at Dunkirk.

Dozens of protesters gathered in Dunkirk in northern France ahead of a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Despite the rain, several dozen people protesting against the pension reform “greet” the president, who is making a visit on the issues of the country’s reindustrialization.

Gathered behind police fences near the city’s prefectural division, they hum and bang pots with spoons. There are many policemen on site.

A call to protest was issued by the regional branches of the trade unions “General Confederation of Labor” (CGT) and “French Democratic Confederation of Labor” (CFDT).

It is noted that on the day of the visit of the president, who is later to visit the Aluminum Dunkerque plant, 1,500 police officers ensure order in the city.
Since the adoption of the pension reform on April 14, all visits by the president and French ministers have been accompanied by protests and “empty pot marches.” The prefectures of the departments that Macron visited issued decrees banning demonstrations, but the French protested nonetheless. Later, the French Interior Ministry sent an order to the prefects of all departments of the country, condemning the bans and restrictions on demonstrations during the visits of the country’s president to the regions. The letter, addressed to departmental prefects, points to the “abuse of the procedure” for ensuring security in the run-up to visits by high-ranking officials, because the measures introduced “are not justified by the presence of a terrorist threat.”

On April 14, France’s Constitutional Council approved a key article of a pension reform bill that calls for a gradual increase in the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030. On the same day, Macron signed the law, the document was published in the official journal. The pension reform triggered a wave of protests across France, which were accompanied by clashes between demonstrators and police officers, pogroms, riots and detentions.