French unions call two more days of protest against pension reform
French trade unions said Friday they would hold at least two more national days of protest next month against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform, DPA reported.
A day of street demonstrations is to be held October 2, with union leaders surely hoping to mobilize millions of demonstrators against the reform, which would gradually raise the age of retirement from 60 to 62 by the year 2018.
In addition, they scheduled a day of nationwide strikes and street demonstrations for October 12.
The number of people who turn out for the protests has become a hot political issue, with government estimates contrasting wildly with those by unions.
The interior ministry said just short of one million people took part in demonstrations during Thursday's protests, while union leaders put the number at nearly 3 million.
The discrepancy was particularly glaring for France's second city Marseille. Union estimates put the number of demonstrators there at 220,000; police said only 22,000 people protested.
despite the protests, Sarkozy is not expected to drastically amend the pension reform, which he considers the most important piece of legislation of his five-year term. The reform is expected to become law by the late October.