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What impact will Tuesday’s protests and strikes have in France?

France will see the return of nationwide strikes and street protests for the first time since June on Tuesday but what impact will they have?

What impact will Tuesday's protests and strikes have in France?
Photo: AFP

Around 100 protests are planned across the country as trade unions call on the public to show their anger at the government's social policy.

Two of the more hardline leftist trade unions Force Ouvrier and the CGT have called on workers, pensioners and students to join their protest against the government's policies which they claim are “destroying France's social model”.

For these trade unions the government's policies follow “a logic of individualization which undermines solidarity and social justice”.

They also “attack once again the weakest, most precarious and the poorest,” read a statement from the unions.

With the government planning reforms of the pension and benefits system the unions hope to flex their muscles and send a warning to President Emmanuel Macron.

Yet it's unlikely Tuesday's protests will be much of a concern o the president.

The unions face a stiff task in persuading workers to down tools and join their protests.

Unlike the mass protests before the summer Tuesday's action is unlikely to have any major impact on public transport.

Rail chiefs SNCF say the strikes will have almost no impact on services and Paris transport authority RATP say sevices on the Metro and RER lines will run as normal.

However transport systems locally may be impacted and some creches and schools may be closed due to the movement.

Part of the problem is that the unions are not united in their call to action with the more moderate CFDT union which has not called on its followers to join the strike.

Nevertheless there will be protests in cities such as Nice, Lyon, Marseille and Rennes. In Paris demonstrators have been asked to gather at Montparnasse at 2pm from where they will march towards Place d'Italie.

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PROTESTS

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

Students blockaded five schools in Paris on Tuesday to demonstrate their political concerns ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections on Sunday.

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

In addition to the five blockaded lycées, the université Paris 8 in Saint-Denis was closed “for security reasons”.

The students – who are too young to make their voices heard at the ballot box – were protesting against the options available to voters in the second round – where incumbent Emmanuel Macron takes on far-right leader Marine Le Pen – and follows earlier student protests at the Sorbonne.

Many were demonstrating in protest at what they saw as inadequate policies on climate change and social issues from both candidates in the final round of voting, as well as the lack of choice for the electorate.

“It is a continuation of what happened at the Sorbonne,” one student told AFP. “We want a third social round, because the two candidates qualified for the second round have no social or ecological programmes. 

“We want to give a new breath to this Fifth Republic a little at the end of the race.

“We are fed up with the fascist state. We are here against Marine Le Pen, against fascism, for the climate and against capitalism,” another student at the lycée Louis-le-Grand in the capital’s fifth arrondissement said.

“We have blocked all the entrances. We will stay there as long as possible.”

About 100 students blockaded the prestigious school. Some students chant slogans against the “Front National” – the former name of second-round candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party.

The blockades ended peacefully at the end of the day.

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