Hundreds Of Thousands March In Madrid And Paris On Healthcare, Working Condition And Pension Reform Issue

protest madrid

Hundreds of thousands of people joined in rallies in Spain and France on issues of healthcare and pension reform.


Media reports said:

Around 250,000 people marched through the streets of Madrid on Sunday demanding that the Spanish government increase the country’s health care budget, improve working conditions and expand the staff.

“Today in Madrid we are standing up again and declaring that we do not accept this model. Our health is not to be trifled with,” organizers of the protest chanted, when reading a manifesto.

The participants of the demonstration were also calling for reduced workloads, better pay and support for young professionals inclined to leave for other countries with better working conditions.

Spain’s major opposition parties and labor unions also participated in the march staged by 74 community and district groups.

Madrid’s regional government, headed by Isabel Ayuso, member of the center-right Popular Party, faced severe criticism in recent years — particularly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — due to a shortage of healthcare personnel in hospitals and primary healthcare centers.

The mounting discontent appears even more significant against the backdrop of the upcoming municipal and regional elections, scheduled for May 28.

The organizers argue that the Madrid government invests least in health per inhabitant than any other region in Spain, even though its per capita income is the highest across the country.

The Community of Madrid seeks to earmark $2.4 billion for primary healthcare in 2023, up 22% compared to the 2022 budget. However, Spain’s health workers believe these measures are not enough.


Other media reports said:

The fourth general strike against the controversial pension reform took place in Paris, with tens of thousands of people marching through the city streets.

The protesters were carrying banners of leading French trade unions that staged the strike, and posters with slogans “Macron, seek your own retirement, but do not touch ours!” and “Prisoners of work will not live to be old.” The demonstrators also chanted “Let’s fight for a pension at 60!”

Some protesters threw bottles at a building housing a bank and burned garbage cans on the streets.

The unions previously said that the protest had been organized on a weekend to allow more people to participate.

In total, over 200 demonstrations against the pension reform took place across France on Saturday, including in all major cities, such as Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Nantes. The trade unions stated the protest in Toulouse had gathered more than 100,000 people.

On January 10, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne presented a draft pension reform legislation, which the government plans to implement in September 2023. According to the plan, the French government will begin to raise the retirement age in the country by three months per year from September 1, gradually increasing it from the current age of 62 to 64 by 2030.

Over 750,000 French Join 3rd Nation-wide Protest Against Pension Reform

Earlier reports said:

The first general strike against the pension reform plan took place on January 19 and gathered over a million people nationwide, with 80,000 in Paris. A total of 2.8 million people took part in the second demonstration on January 31. However, around 757,000 people showed up at the third nationwide protest this past Tuesday, with 57,000 in Paris alone.

The fifth national demonstration is scheduled for February 16.

According to the French interior ministry’s data, a total of 757,000 people participated in protests across France, with 57,000 in Paris alone, the French broadcaster reported.

France’s largest union, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), estimated the number of protesters at almost 2 million people countrywide, with 400,000 in the French capital.

Demonstrators were carrying banners of leading French unions, chanting “Pension at 60,” “Macron, take your hands off our pensions,” “No reform without universal approval,” “Raise wages, not the retirement age,” broadcaster said.

The protest action was accompanied by industrial strikes in several sectors, including transport, energy and education.

The black bloc radicals joined the protest in Paris and started breaking windows of cafes and shops, setting garbage cans on fire and smashing billboards. They were also throwing firecrackers and glass bottles at police officers. In response, the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. According to French media, 17 people were detained in Paris on Tuesday.

On Monday, a majority of lawmakers in the French parliament rejected the proposal of the left coalition New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES) to hold a referendum on the pension reform.


Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News