On the outskirts of the Cannes Film Festival, French employees demonstrate against pension changes


Around 200 French workers gathered outside the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday to protest against recent changes to the French pension system.

Protesters in yellow and red union vests held signs reading “Say No to Retirement at 62” and cheered speeches made by union leaders as they demanded an end to pension reforms they claim will favor the wealthy while taking away benefits from everyday workers.

The demonstration was the latest in a series of nationwide protests shedding light on the unpopular pension reforms introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron’s office. The proposed reforms would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, prompting labor unions and workers to argue the reforms disproportionately affect low-income and elderly workers, while leaving the more well off relatively unaffected.

The protest in Cannes follows more than two months of nationwide strikes and demonstrations that have come to define Macron’s Presidency so far. Political analysts have noted the political capital Macron has risked, and while it remains to be seen if the reforms are actually passed, the protests in Cannes are a sign that the government’s efforts to push the reforms have been met with significant resistance.