Public employees, civil servants and schoolchildren demonstrated in their thousands in the streets of Paris on Thursday (14 March).
Public employees, civil servants and schoolchildren demonstrated in their thousands in the streets of Paris on Thursday (14 March). After holding separate marches, they joined up in front of the Economics and Finance Ministry, as riot police armed with rifles and shields looked on.
The main slogan of the schoolchildren was 'Down with Selection'. It was directed against what are seen as increasingly elitist developments in French education. The new and stricter requirements for university entrance were the main object of their protest. Some of the demonstrators carried more general political slogans, such as "down with school, the police and the bosses'.
In Thursday's other demonstration, thousands of public employees and civil servants carried their trade union banners through the streets to protest that inflation was biting deep into the buying power of their salaries. They claim that the official Cost of Living index has badly underestimated the present rate of inflation by putting it at only 20%.
The demonstrators included bank workers from two nationalised banks who are at present on strike for higher pay.