The unrest in some of the demonstrations Thursday in France against pension reform gave rise to 457 arrests carried out by law enforcement, including 441 officers injured.
The figures were given this Friday by the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmaninwho in an interview with the channel CNews pointed to the extreme left as responsible for the acts of violence that occurred outside the marches organized by the unions against the reform of the Government.
“The extreme left wants to attack the Republic and a message of condemnation must be given”stressed the minister, who acknowledged that the unions have already denounced the violence, but not all the opposition.
He insisted on defending the action of the 12,000 police and gendarmes mobilized yesterday, who “protected the protesters” called by the unions in more than 300 parades throughout the country.
According to their own figures, there were around a million protesters (3.5 million, according to one of the convening centrals).
But he noted that “this important mobilization goes hand in hand with a radicalization of a small part“, in particular “from the extreme left” that was noted in Paris, but also in other cities where there were serious riots, such as in Rennes, in Nantes, in Lorient or in Bordeaux.
In Paris he said there was “1,500 vandals” that they went ahead of the union procession and attacked the agents with Molotov cocktails, with cobblestones and with iron bars.
The Department of the Interior recorded 903 urban furniture and container fires that in some districts of Paris, as in other cities, have been accumulating due to the garbage collection strike for more than two weeks.
Darmanin recounted that the president, Emmanuel Macron (who is participating in the European Union summit in Brussels), and the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne“they are concerned first of all for the protesters, who have been able to demonstrate in good conditions”, but also “for the radicalization of a small part”.
Asked if the pension reform law should be renounced in the current situation, his answer was: “I do not believe that this text should be withdrawn due to violence. If not, the Republic does not exist.
Moreover, he justified its application despite the great unpopularity of this reform, which delays the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 years: “It is not very popular, but you have to be brave.”
“The unpopularity that stems from the pension reform (…) shows that politicians are also for the next generation and not just for the next election”.
(With information from EFE)
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