French pension protests block airport, set fires

STORY: The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption on Thursday (March 23) - events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

This video shows protesters blocking a terminal at Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport. Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but you can see tear gas being used against them.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68. Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Back at the airport tourists were forced to walk on the road just to get to their terminals.

“I was going to pick up my daughter and her fiancé from Sweden at the airport and we can’t catch them, so my husband parked up here on the road and I had to walk down and get them and it took us about 2,5 – 3 hours from Champagne to get here.”

Macron himself was in Brussels, Belgium attending a European Union summit on the Ukraine war.

On Wednesday (March 22) he said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit - failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.