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Why pensioners are holding protests around France today

More investment in public services, particularly in rural areas, to avoid pensioners being left ‘helpless’ by the digitalisation of procedures is amongst demands

Retirees are to march in Paris this afternoon (March 24, 2022) to demand higher pensions. (Picture from similar protest in 2018) Pic: GERARD BOTTINO / Shutterstock

Retirees have held protests in around 20 different cities in France today, demanding higher pensions and better access to healthcare, particularly in rural areas. 

The protests come around three weeks before France’s presidential election, with the first round taking place on April 10. 

The demonstrations have been organised in cities such as Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Mans, Nantes and more, after calls from nine different syndicates and associations. 

The head of one syndicate, UCR-CGT, said pensions must be increased to match the rising cost of living. 

“We don't want a bonus cheque, but a real increase in pensions,” Marc Bastide said. 

He also called for the creation of a social service to help towards independent living.

Other groups are demanding more investment in public health services, particularly in rural areas, to avoid pensioners being left "helpless" by the digitalisation of procedures.

“We want better access to healthcare, public hospitals and retirement homes and to be treated with greater dignity," a pensioners’ group in Sarthe (Pays de la Loire) wrote in a statement. 

Similar demonstrations have also taken place in the past few months around France. 

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