Violence erupts at May Day protests in Paris, protesters criticize re-elected Macron

Joshua Antunes, a 19-year-old student, said: “It is important to show Macron and the entire political world that we are prepared to defend our social rights.” He also criticized the president’s “inactivity” on environmental issues.

Protesters carried banners reading “Retirement before arthritis”, “Retirement at 60, frozen prices” and “Macron go away”.

“The government has to deal with the problem of purchasing power by increasing wages,” Philippe Martínez, leader of the hardline CGT union, told Reuters before the demonstrations.

Macron won a new five-year presidential term after beating far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in last Sunday’s runoff election.

Far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who came third in the first round of the presidential vote, attended the Paris march.

He wants to bring together a left-wing union, including the Greens, to dominate parliament and force Macron into an uncomfortable “cohabitation”, but this has so far failed to materialize.

“We will not make a single concession in pensions,” Melenchon said before the march began.

He said that he still hoped that an agreement could be reached tonight to build a new left-wing union.

Unlike in previous years, Marine Le Pen did not lay a wreath in Paris before the statue of Joan of Arc, whom her party uses as a nationalist symbol. She was replaced by Rassemblement National interim president Jordan Bardella, who said Le Pen was preparing for the legislative elections.

Le Pen urged voters in a video message to elect as many deputies from her party as possible in June so that she can “protect her purchasing power” and prevent Macron from carrying out a “harmful project for France and the French people.” “.

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