A wave of protests was expected to intensify in France, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets to fight a controversial plan, pushed by President Emmanual Macron, to raise the retirement age.
French media was reporting that as many as 900,000 people were expected to protest on Tuesday, objecting to Macron's plan to raise the retirement age from 62 from 64. Ten days of protests have led to huge mounds of trash on the streets of Paris because garbage workers were continuing to strike over the issue, and fires have been burning outside streetside cafes.
Smoke bombs were being let off outside the airport, according to video posted to social media.
All retirees in France receive a state pension, which is funded by a specific tax on those currently working. However, between the country’s lower birth rate and longer life expectancies, the current pension system is projected to face a shortfall in the next decade.
The grim future of the pension system has prompted Macron to make the proposed change a key priority of his second term, arguing that reform is necessary.
Macron has argued that raising France's retirement age will make the country's pension system financially sustainable in the future. He pushed the legislation through French Parliament last week without a vote, due to a special constitutional article.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Protests intensify in France over plan to raise the retirement age