Macron Tries to Calm Tensions Over Retirement Changes
French President Emmanuel Macron tried Tuesday to calm nationwide tensions and salvage support for his overhaul of the country’s retirement system, as France faced day 41 of crippling strikes. Clutches of union activists gathered in Paris and other cities to demand that the government scrap the pension reform altogether. Struggling to save face and prevent new protest violence as his signature reform falters, Macron called for calm Tuesday and tried to show that he has heard protesters’ concerns. Macron called for “calm and clarity” and promised better explanation of what the changes will mean for different French workers. But he also acknowledged growing concerns about police violence, and called on the interior minister to improve police “ethics and controls” to prevent abuses.