Protesters clash with police over Macron’s pension reform plan.

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On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of people protested across France against President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed pension overhaul. Although turnout was lower than previous protests, there were still violent clashes between police and protesters in western France, and some protesters stormed the headquarters of French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH in Paris.

The Constitutional Council, France’s highest administrative authority, will announce its verdict on the pension legislation on Friday, which will be the final hurdle before Macron can sign it into law. The Interior Ministry reported that 380,000 people participated in the protests, far fewer than the nearly 1.3 million who protested in March. Macron hopes to sign the pension changes into law immediately if the court largely approves the changes, which include raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The Paris police have banned any further demonstrations around the Constitutional Council until Saturday morning. The CGT union has called for new strikes by refinery workers and rubbish collectors on May 1. The Constitutional Council has the power to block parts of the legislation or reject it wholesale. Surveys show that about two-thirds of French people are against the pension changes, which Macron says are essential to prevent the system from falling into heavy deficits in the coming decades.

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