Paris police hold two garbagemen planning smelly Macron protest

Two refuse collectors were arrested Friday morning in central Paris after stealing a garbage truck with plans to empty the load at the headquarters of President Emmanuel Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) party.

Paris police hold two garbagemen planning smelly Macron protest
File photo: French garbage collectors empty dustbins into a refuse truck in central Paris. Photo: AFP
Officers intercepted the truck, taken from a depot in the northern 18th Arrondissement of the city, not far from the party offices in central Paris, a police source told AFP.
At least a dozen officers with guns drawn surrounded the truck, warning bystanders back as they secured the area before apprehending the men and calling in an explosives-removal team.
Security forces have been on high alert following a string of jihadist attacks since 2015, most recently a knife rampage in the same area of Paris on May 12. 
At the same time on Friday, more than 100 CGT union activists occupied the LREM premises, near the main Paris opera house to protest the government's plans to overhaul French public services.
Baptiste Talbot, a CGT official, told AFP they had cut off water and electricity to the building before leaving.
Public-sector workers have staged a series of strikes and demonstrations against the reform plan, which calls for the greater use of contract workers for some services and a cut of 120,000 state jobs out of 5.6 million in total by the end of Macron's term in 2022.
Their protests come as workers at the national rail operator SNCF are protesting a reform plan which would deny job-for-life and early retirement guarantees to new hires.

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Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.