Only in France: Crustacean Missiles

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for an urgent meeting with government ministers amid rising tensions ahead of another round of strikes and protests against his pension reforms. Despite pushing the new law through parliament using a special provision that bypassed any vote almost two weeks ago, unions remain determined to continue their mass demonstrations until the government relents.

March 28 will mark the 10th day of action against the controversial law, which includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Macron, whose approval ratings have hit a low point, acknowledged the unpopularity of the reform last week. While Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has no plans to withdraw the legislation, she is willing to engage in fresh dialogue with unions. Starting today, Borne has scheduled discussions over the next three weeks with parliamentarians, political parties, local authorities, and unions to find a resolution.

While the protests were triggered by the pension move, being France there are many issues the people are unhappy with. A stand-off over maritime regulations in Rennes saw protesters clutching spider crabs during altercations with the authorities to use as missiles.

The unrest has caused the state visit to Bordeaux, France by Britain’s King Charles III, which was due to begin this week, to be postponed. The Palais de Rohan, Bordeaux’s historic town hall was burned down. Completed in 1784 it was formerly the Archbishop’s Palace.