Mostly calm on the streets of Paris, trash continues to pile up – KESQ

PARIS (AP) — Several protests were planned across France over the weekend against President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform, as garbage continued to reek on the streets of Paris and beyond amid a strike by garbage collectors.

An eerie calm returned to Paris on Saturday after two nights of protests by thousands across the French capital, culminating in the fashionable Place de la Concorde, where angry protesters threw an effigy of Macron into a bonfire amid cheers. from the crowd. The police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and water cannons and there were hundreds of arrests.

Protesters are trying to pressure lawmakers to overthrow Macron’s government and convict an unpopular increase in retirement age he is trying to impose no vote in the National Assembly.

More protests were planned for Saturday in Paris, as well as in the cities of Marseille and Nantes, but they were expected to be smaller than in previous days.

On Saturday, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, garbage was piling up meters from a bakery, expelling vapors encouraged by the mild climate and the sun. Some Parisian residents buying their weekend baguette blamed the Macron administration.

“The government must change its position and listen to the people because what is happening is extremely serious. And we are seeing a radicalization,” said Isabelle Vergriette, 64, a psychologist. “The government is largely responsible for this.”

The mayor of the district, Emmanuelle Pierre-Marie, has been in her neighborhood since dawn expressing concern about the consequences of the pile of rubbish, which has become a visual and olfactory symbol of the anti-pension action.

“Food waste is our priority because it is what brings pests to the surface,” Pierre-Marie said. “We are extremely sensitive to the situation. As soon as we have a garbage truck available, we prioritize the most affected places, such as food markets.”

Strikes are planned for Monday in many sectors, from transport to energy. The Civil Aviation authority asked that 30% of the flights in Orly, the second airport of Paris, and 20% in Marseilles, be cancelled.

Laurent Berger, leader of the moderate CFDT union, said the pension reform “must be withdrawn.”

“We condemn violence. …But look at the anger. It is very strong, even among our ranks, ”he said on RMC radio.

On Friday, a day after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne invoked a special constitutional power to bypass a vote in the chaotic lower house, lawmakers on the right and left filed motions of no confidence in voting on Monday.

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