Pension reform legislation draws mass protests in France

April 16, 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron officially signed pension reform legislation into law, despite its widespread unpopularity across the country. Among the changes brought by this law is an increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Millions across France have been protesting since the legislation was proposed. For months the nation has been filled with street protests and strikes. Monuments like the Eiffel Tower and public services such as schools and the metro system have been shut down since strikes started in January. Street protests have become increasingly disruptive, often involving fire and projectiles; the police have started employing tear gas to contain them. 

April 14, 2023 the Constitutional Council, a French court, ruled that the legislation was constitutional and could be passed into law by Macron. In response, protestors stormed LVMH (Louis Vutton) headquarters and dropped trash outside government buildings. Macron, already generally unpopular as president, has seen his disapproval rates skyrocket to 70% in recent polling.