Macron’s beloved La Rotonde is on fire as protests rage across Paris Global |: news

A restaurant favored by Emmanuel Macron has gone up in flames after it was targeted by angry protesters against the French president’s pension reforms. Dramatic images show La Rotonde burning as a plume of black smoke billows across the French capital of Paris.

Macron famously dined at a Paris brasserie with friends and associates to celebrate his run-off in the 2017 presidential election.

Protests in the French city turned violent as talks between union leaders and Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne broke down on Wednesday, prompting protesters to return to the streets.

Angry protesters clashed with police in scenes of violence as hundreds and thousands took to the streets to demand Macron reverse his proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The shocking video also shows police being surrounded by rioters.

Up to 10,000 tonnes of rubbish piled up on the streets of Paris during a week-long strike by sanitation workers, which is designed to raise their retirement age from 57 to 59, below the national age, because their work is more physically demanding.

Jerome Villiers, a 43-year-old doctoral student in Paris, says: “People are angry. It’s obvious.”

The pension law needs the green light of the Constitutional Council on April 14.

While the council must make a decision on purely constitutional grounds, experts say it tends to take public opinion into account.

Dominique Andolfatto, professor of political science at the University of Burgundy, says: “Polls still show that the vast majority of French people are against the pension reform, so one possible scenario is that the council could abandon some parts of the bill.

“There is a certain hatred in the air that we have rarely seen against a French leader. This is uncharted water.”

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