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Trade unions in southeastern France protest pension reform ahead of president's visit

Trade unions in southeastern France protest pension reform ahead of president's visit
President Macron will reveal water plan amid drought risk for summer

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) - A group on Thursday gathered to protest President Emmanuel Macron in southeastern France, where he will unveil the new water plan, local media reported.

The president will visit the town of Savines-le-Lac, and reveal the plan for better water management, the French presidency said, according to the daily Le Figaro.

Members of trade unions gathered in Savines-le-Lac for Macron's arrival, and are chanting peacefully while police units ensure security, broadcaster BFMTV showed.

The group is there to express, once more, rejection of the government's pension reform.

The government revealed the reform project in January, and millions of workers have since expressed growing outrage by holding demonstrations and walkouts.

The reform project includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030, requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for a full pension.

Ecological Transition Minister Christophe Bechu and Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau will accompany President Emmanuel Macron, Le Figaro said.

The plan aims to prepare France for summer during which authorities fear severe droughts due to lack of rainfall, the same source added.

France is in a "state of alert" over drought risk this summer, Bechu said on Feb. 22. He then met local authorities to discuss the situation.

France's weather authority Meteo France said on Feb. 22 that the country recorded a historically severe drought this winter, with no precipitation for 32 days since Jan. 21.

"This causes soil to dry up, which was already weakened by the drought in summer 2022," it said in a statement.

The Bureau of Geological and Mining Research on March 13 said in a statement that the groundwater levels were below the monthly normal as of March 1 due to the lack of precipitation in February.

source: News Feed
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