FIRES, CLASHES AND TEAR GAS IN PARIS AS PROTESTERS OPPOSE MACRON’S PENSION BILL The government rejected unions’ demand to rethink the pension bill

Black-clad protesters in Paris set fire to garbage cans and threw projectiles at police, who in turn charged at them and fired tear gas on the fringes of a march against President Emmanuel Macron and his deeply unpopular pension bill.

Earlier in the day, the government rejected unions’ demand to suspend and rethink the pension bill, which raises the retirement age by two years to 64, infuriating labour leaders who said the government must find a way out of the crisis.

France’s interior minister on Tuesday announced the start of the dissolution process of an “extreme left” group that helped organise a rowdy protest last weekend against a planned water reservoir in western France.

Millions of people have been demonstrating and joining strike action since mid-January to show their opposition to the bill. Unions said the next nationwide day of protests would be on April 6.

Macron, who promised pension reform in both of his presidential campaigns, says change is needed to keep the country’s finances in balance. Unions and opposition parties say there are other ways to do that.