- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 23, 2023

Piles of garbage are littering the streets of Paris as sanitation workers in the French capital protest President Emmanuel Macron‘s raising of the retirement age.

Garbage workers plan on carrying out their strike through Monday — three weeks after the municipal waste collectors began their protest and staged a blockade of the city’s incinerators, according to French news outlets.

The Associated Press reported that more than 9,000 tons of trash lined the City of Light’s streets at the start of this week.   

“I’m fortunate to live here, but I’m 200% behind these guys,” Vincent Salazar, a 62-year-old consultant who lives in an upscale Left Bank neighborhood, told the AP. “They’re smelling it all day long. They should get early retirement.”

Mr. Macron made use of a special constitutional article to enact his legislation without a vote last week. That move was later upheld after two no-confidence votes went in favor of the government Monday, meaning that the retirement age for sanitation workers increased from 57 to 59 and for all other pensioners increased from 62 to 64.

The French president has argued that delaying the retirement age will make the country more financially stable. The move is highly unpopular among the French people.

The strike has affected businesses around the city, with some restaurants saying they’ve lost half their foot traffic. There are also concerns about Paris’ already severe rat infestation becoming worse as the trash piles linger, according to Politico Europe.

• This story was based in part on wire service reports.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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