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Elysee Palace Under Enhanced Protection as French Police Gear Up for Protests in Paris

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Elysee Palace Under Enhanced Protection as French Police Gear Up for Protests in Paris
Elysee Palace Under Enhanced Protection as French Police Gear Up for Protests in Paris
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PARIS - Security measures have been tightened in Paris and, specifically, near the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French president, as mass protests against a newly proposed pension reform are about to start.

Police have cordoned off the palace and several adjacent residential blocks with metal barriers. Officers stand outside in the freezing cold and advise people to bypass the area and seek alternative routes.

Police vans and larger armoured vehicles are parked across the city to serve as a sleeping space for additional police officers who were called to central Paris ahead of the protests.

The nationwide strike is scheduled to begin in the afternoon. A broad range of workers is expected to rally from the Gare de l'Est station to the Place de la Nation square at the edge of the 11th and 12th districts. They will be protesting against a new pension reform proposed by President Emmanuel Macron.

France has one of the most generous pension systems in the world with 42 retirement plans for separate categories of workers and one of the world's lowest old-age poverty rates. But the pension system is also in an over $18 billion deficit. The idea behind the reform is to cancel the profession-based retirement plans and replace them with a unified points-based system for each individual worker regardless of industry.
(esn)
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