PARIS (AP) — France is bracing for a fifth day of nationwide strikes and protests Thursday against a pension reform that is the flagship policy of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term.
This latest round is expected to be less disruptive that on previous occasions, with the Paris Metro working normally and most schools unaffected.
A railway worker walkout will severely disrupt high speed TGV trains and regional services, however. Almost a third of flights are expected to be canceled at Paris’ second busiest airport, Orly, and traffic will be interrupted at regional airports as well.
The proposed pension reforms have unleashed the most turbulent debate in years in the National Assembly, with uncertainty looming over the final outcome.
Tensions at parliament are fed by the unpopularity of the reform aimed at raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 and requiring people to have worked for at least 43 years to be entitled to a full pension, amid other measures.
The powerful union the CGT is also keeping one eye on March 7, when unions are calling for a rolling strike to bring France to its knees. The union hopes to rally support from trash collectors, which could see trash piling up in the French streets.