Garbage piles up on streets of Paris as collectors´ strike in 18th day amid political CHAOS

Rubbish piling up/Shutterstock Images

Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age by two years, from 62 to 64 for most and from 57 to 59 for garbage collectors has met with vehement protests, riots, strikes and civil unrest in recent weeks.

According to local reports, 9,500 tonnes of trash lie on Paris streets. The news hit the headlines a week ago, but there is no end in sight and the garbage is affecting the hospitality industry, with less diners in the capital´s restaurants, with fears for the health of residents.

Macron rammed the showcase legislation of his second term through Parliament last week — without a vote, thanks to a special constitutional article. On Monday, the government won two no-confidence motions put forth by angry lawmakers. The bill is now considered adopted.

The Socialist mayor of Paris, who supports the garbage collector strikers, found herself in a bind. City Hall refused orders to get the trucks out, saying it’s not their job. Police Chief Laurent Nunez then ordered garages unblocked and ordered 674 sanitation personnel and 206 garbage trucks back to work to provide a minimal service, police tweeted Tuesday.

Sure enough, a green Paris garbage truck was seen collecting a long, high pile of rubbish Tuesday outside a school on a Left Bank street — although the truck was full long before all the refuse could be cleaned up. With incinerators blocked, the garbage was being taken to a storage site outside Paris.

More is ahead: Unions are planning nationwide marches and strikes for Thursday March 23 to pressure the government to withdraw the retirement measure.

“Garbage is a good way to protest. It has a big impact,” said Tony Gibierge, 36, who is opening a restaurant in several months on a street in southern Paris — a street currently heaped with garbage.

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