French pension protesters have rejected Emmanuel Macron’s desperate plea for a Christmas truce, as the country descends further into chaos. To the surprise of those around Mr Macron, support for the strikes against the French President’s pension reforms have actually increased. Speaking in the Ivory Coast, the French leader pleaded with strikers to “observe a truce out of respect for families and family life” as people try to get home for Christmas.
The protesters defiance means that transport unions will continue their strike over the Christmas holidays, throwing the country into travel chaos.
Two weeks of strikes over planned pension reforms have already caused widespread disruption across France.
Train operator SNCF confirmed that services would be “severely disrupted” over the festive season.
Only half of the usual amount of high-speed TGV trains and metro lines operated on Saturday.
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Hundreds of flight had to be cancelled while roads became gridlocked under the mass of cars trying to make their Christmas journeys.
This has shut down much of the country, on a weekend that is considered the busiest travel day during the Christmas period.
Despite the disturbances, and the risk of Christmas travel chaos, public support for the strikes remains strong.
The most recent poll showed 62 percent of people support the strikes – up three points from a similar poll last week.