| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

Thousands take to the streets of Paris to protest soaring prices

Thousands of people marched through Paris on Sunday to protest rising costs, after weeks of strikes for greater salaries at oil refineries fueled calls for a countrywide strike.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the hard-left group La France Insoumise (France Unbowed), marched with this year’s Nobel Prize laureate for Literature, Annie Ernaux. He has called for a countrywide strike on Tuesday.

“You’re going to have a week like no other; we started it with this march,” he promised the throng.

Melenchon followed the footsteps of four unions – but not France’s biggest, the moderate CFDT – which have called for strikes and protests on Tuesday for wage increases.

After the government ordered the requisitioning of certain oil refinery workers, which unions saw as a breach of their constitutional rights, the four unions organised the protests to help safeguard the right to strike.

The march was organized in response to a plea from the NUPES parliamentary coalition, which seeks to put an end to recent allegations of domestic violence against senior members.

According to Budget Minister Gabriel Attal, the left-wing coalition is aiming to capitalize on the current scenario, which is characterized by prolonged strikes at French utility EDF’s nuclear reactors and at French oil refineries.

“Today’s march is a march of supporters who want to blockade the nation,” he declared on France 1 radio.

  • Reuters