As Macron Meets with Xi Jinping, France Burns

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While French President Macron is in Beijing making deals, the French people are storming the offices of BlackRock during their rioting over a pension bill that raises the age or retirement from 62 to 64. BlackRock doesn’t have anything to do with the reform bill, but a protesting school teacher told Reuters that BlackRock has been targeted because of its work with private pension funds.

Business Today reports France’s interior ministry estimated 570,000 people to have joined in Thursday’s protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s overhauling of the pension policy – but trade unions place this number at nearly 2 million.

Protesters clashed with the police, shops were looted, bank windows were smashed, Macron’s favorite restaurant was burnt, and the BlackRock office in Paris was invaded in the course of the protest. Police fired teargas, while protesters used firecrackers during the demonstrations.

The protesters have paid into the fund for their entire working lives. Using an emergency measure, Macron took some of their benefits away without going through the legislature.

The protests and riots are nationwide.

Macron is in Beijing trying to convince Xi to push Putin to stop bombing Ukraine. That’s a useless effort. He should go home and handle his domestic problems. No one in the legislature voted for this pension reform, and the people are angry. If politicians let Social Security and Medicare collapse, we’ll also see unrest here.


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