‘Slack­ers’ protest labour re­forms

New Straits Times - - World - AFP PHOTO

PARIS : Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron has sparked a back­lash by call­ing op­po­nents of his labour re­forms “slack­ers,” and the word be­came a ral­ly­ing cry on Tues­day for thou­sands tak­ing to the streets against the over­haul.

“Macron, you’re screwed, the ‘faineants’ (slack­ers) are in the street,” chanted crowds march­ing in Paris as part of a na­tion­wide day of strikes and protests against Macron’s flag­ship re­forms.

Oth­ers held ban­ners that read “Slack­ers of the world unite” and “Proud to be slack­ers”, while a tiny old lady bran­dished a home­made sign read­ing “Re­tired slacker”.

Macron, a 39-year-old cen­trist, came to power in May vow­ing to sim­plify France’s no­to­ri­ously com­pli­cated labour rules as part of a pledge to rein­vig­o­rate the slug­gish econ­omy.

Macron’s ri­vals seized on the im­pli­ca­tion that some of his crit­ics were sim­ply lazy, with far-left fire­brand Jean-Luc Me­len­chon con­clud­ing: “Macron doesn’t like French peo­ple”.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader who fought Macron for the pres­i­dency, chipped in sar­cas­ti­cally: “Macron’s dec­la­ra­tions of love to the French peo­ple just keep pil­ing up.” AFP

A woman hold­ing a poster with the writ­ing ‘I am a slacker’ dur­ing a protest against labour re­forms in Nantes on Tues­day.

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