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French union threatens to pull plug on iconic events

Protesting against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform, the CGT is warning the lights could go out at Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes film festival, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Roland-Garros tournament could see their dark days this year, quite literally, as a top trade union has threatened to cut power to key venues. CGT Energie has said it will turn supply off to play its part in the campaign against President Macron’s controversial pension reform.

Macron has promised 100 days to appease, we promise him 100 days of action and anger,” the union said in a statement on Friday.

The group added that the “Cannes film festival, the Monaco grand prix, the Roland-Garros tournament, the Avignon festival, could end up in the dark” and it insisted that they “won’t let go.

Members of CGT, one of France’s major unions, vowed to be “creative” in their “energy disturbances.

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Protesters enter the headquarters of the Pan-European stock exchange Euronext in Paris, April 20, 2023
French protesters storm stock exchange (VIDEO)

French media outlet BFM TV quoted an expert as saying that the union does, in fact, have the means to disrupt the 76th Cannes Film Festival, scheduled to open on May 16.

Organizers of the Roland Garros tennis tournament are also taking the union’s threat seriously.

On Wednesday, CGT cut power-supply to a neighborhood in the commune of Muttersholtz, where President Macron was making a visit to a woodworking factory.

Energy companies will be everywhere, and the president will be in darkness!” Fabrice Coudour, a senior officer in CGT, told the media about the stunt.

Last week, the French president signed into law the controversial increase in the country’s retirement age, which will rise incrementally from 62, the current threshold, to age 64 as of September 2030. This happened just hours after France’s highest constitutional authority gave the green light to most of a series of amendments proposed by Macron.

The move has drawn the ire of the Opposition, both from the left and the right, and from unions, which have vowed to protest until the retirement-age reform law is recalled.

Macron, in turn, insists that he had no choice but to implement the increase to shore up France’s ailing pension system.

April 23, 2023 at 09:12PM

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