Why France Is Violently Protesting Over Pension Plan Reform | NBC News Now

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NBC News’ Bill Neely explains why French President Macron’s plan to reform the retirement system has led to some of the country's largest protests in years. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Digital is a collecti...



Transcript
Police pulling out tear gas. bill. Neely explains what the bill neely explains. What the protesters are protesting and protesters are protesting and what’s at stake for france. what’s at stake for france. , reporter hi. , reporter hi. , even in a country known for mass, even in a country known for mass protests and national strikes, protests and national Strikes this was a pretty exceptional. This ...
was a pretty exceptional and disruptive day right across and disruptive day right across france. france. people broke away from a people, broke away from a peaceful demonstration and began peaceful demonstration and began firing at police. firing at police.

There were stun grenades and there were stun grenades and stun guns. stunguns. This was true of half a dozen of this was true of half a dozen of 40 cities, where there were 40 cities where there were demonstrations today, almost a demonstrations. Today, almost a million people coming out to million people coming out to march. march. they were marching in protest of they were marching in protest of what seems to be an unpopular. What seems to be an unpopular reform. reform. pension reform was tried, 25 pension reform was tried 25 years ago and failed and chirac years ago, and failed and chirac had to pull back that reform. had to pull back that reform.

Now president macron wants now. President macron wants pension reform. pension reform. Today there were lawyers, and today there were lawyers and doctors joining garbage doctors joining garbage collectors, even opera, singers collectors, even opera, singers, public sector workers say these public sector workers say these reforms mean they have to work. Reforms mean they have to work longer and their money will be longer and their money will be cut. cut. france has one of the most. France has one of the most generous pensions and generous pensions and retirements in the world. retirements in the world.

Some metro train drivers can some metro train drivers can retire at 52. , retire at 52. They don’t like any change to they don’t like any change to their system. , their system. , most people don’tlike the most people don’t like the system at all because they say system at all because they say it. Favors people like doctors, it favors people like doctors and lawyers and gives them a and lawyers and gives them a very, very generous, even lavish very, very generous, even lavish system. system. A lot of people want the system. A lot of people want the system changed. They just don’t trustee changed they just don’t trustee manual macron, a former manual macron, a former investment banker to do it for investment banker to do it for them.

, them. trust, emmanuel, macron. , trust, emmanuel macron. The transportation system was, the transportation system was badly hit. badly hit. The eiffel towerbehind me was the eiffel tower behind me, was closed. , closed. schools were hit and closed. schools were hit and closed. they’re calling this' black they’re calling this' black thursday.

' thursday. '. It won’t be today because hard it won’t be today, because hard line unions are threatening a line. Unions are threatening a winter of discontent. winter of discontent. They say they will cripple the they say they will cripple the economy if president macron economy, if president macron continues. continues. it’s, not just about labor it’s, not just about labor reform. reform. , this is a political battle. A this is a political battle, a test of wills.

test of wills. president macron right in the president macron right inthe, beginning of his presidency, beginning of his presidency, wanted to reform the french wanted to reform the french economy for the 21st century. economy for the 21st Century. he wants to make france globally, he wants to make france globally competitive and he sees the competitive and he sees the pension system as one of the pension system. As one of the things holding france back. things holding france back. it’s, a political battle. it’s, a political battle. , one minister today told the one minister today told the newspaper: if macron does not win newspaper, if macron does not win this, then his presidency will this then His presidency will be finished and he will be a be finishedand. He will be a lame duck. President for the next lame duck. President for the next two years.

, two years. , the stakes are high. The stakes are high. more protests planned tomorrow.


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