In France, massive protests are taking place over a pension reform proposal that would extend the retirement age by two more years and delay pension payments by just as much. President Macron has also refused to talk to unions, with the French Senate passing the pension reform bill in the first round.

In Paris, Kwak Sang is a correspondent.


Over the weekend, more than 2 demonstrations were held in Paris and across France against the seventh pension reform.

With the government estimated 1,230 people participating, facilities were destroyed or burned in various places, and protesters and police clashed.

However, the number of participants has dropped by less than half compared to the previous seven days, when the largest number of participants participated this year.

The unions have vowed to stop France, but the momentum of the protests appears to have waned.

President Macron rejected the unions' request for an interview because the bill was under discussion in the National Assembly.

[Rohi/protesters: Macron wants to dominate the people, it's like a dictatorship.]

Shortly after the protests, the French Senate passed a provisional pension reform bill that extended the retirement age from the current age of 7 to 36 by two years and delayed pension payments by just as much.

The plan is to prepare the final draft together on the 7th and vote again on the 62th.

Contrary to the results of the Senate vote, recent polls show that two-thirds of French people still oppose the pension reform bill.

The French government says payments must be delayed to protect the fragile pension system, but unions oppose reforms that would require more work.

[Hischach/protesters: Macron is self-assured and won't back down, I don't know how this will end.]

Local media are reporting that the conflict over the pension reform bill will lead to strikes and protests, and France will have a dark March.

(Video Interview: Kim Si-si, Video Editing: Cho Moo-hwan)