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Protesting French artists occupy top Paris theatre

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Protesting French artists occupy top Paris theatre
French artists and entertainment workers in France address the press from the top of the Odeon theatre . Photo: AFP
13:50 CEST+02:00
Entertainment workers were occupying one of France's top theatres Monday as protests against proposed pay cuts intensified.

Entertainment workers were occupying one of France's top theatres Monday as protests against proposed pay cuts intensified.

Dozens of protesters took over the Odeon theatre in Paris on Sunday after a string of similar occupations across France by "intermittents" -- artists and culture workers who benefit from a generous unemployment system to compensate for their erratic incomes.

With star Isabelle Huppert due to resume her run as Phaedra on Tuesday, the theatre's management told AFP they had no plans to cancel any performances.

Employers last month agreed cuts of 185 million euros ($208 million) to a national pay fund with three of the smaller unions in the sector, but most "intermittents" are fiercely resisting the change.

A protester with a megaphone told reporters from the terrace of the theatre that the occupation was to protest the talks.

"We are going to use the Odeon to debate, study and analyse the negotiations," another said.

The Odeon, in Paris' chic Left Bank area, is a hugely symbolic venue which was also occupied by students during France's May 1968 protests.

Protesting actors and entertainment workers have already staged similar temporary occupations in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Caen and Avignon.

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