French President must keep explaining pension reality

Almost the only thing clear about the industrial action slowly paralysing France as Christmas approached was that it was going to bring a very unfestive festive season.

The wave of strikes, over raising the pensionable age for millions of workers, has united everyone – from lawyers and teachers to train drivers and sewage workers; they and their union representatives ruled out a Christmas truce.

In the interests of forcing President Macron to stop implementing his vital reforms, the unions maintain that nothing – not even the comfort of the French people and the huge volume of tourists in France for the Christmas holidays – should stand in the way.

The chaos has been considerable. With more than 800,000 advance tickets already sold for travel over the holidays, rail operator SNCF has said it will deliver passenger to their destination; but it will have its work cut out.

The roads are swamped with traffic, with hundreds of miles of jams reported in the Ile-de-France every day. Retail sales in Paris a week before ...

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