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Louvre staff block entrances as part of French pension protest

THE Louvre Museum in Paris was closed to the public today after workers took part in the wave of French protest strikes against the government’s unpopular pension reform plans.

Dozens of Louvre employees blocked the entrance, prompting the museum to announce it would be temporarily closed.

The demonstrators carried banners and flags in front of the Louvre’s famed pyramid demanding the repeal of the new pension law that raises the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The show business, broadcasting and culture branch of the CGT union tweeted an image of the Mona Lisa with an aged and wrinkled face, and the words: “64 it’s a No!”

The action comes on the eve of another wave of nationwide strikes and protests against the Bill set to take place today.

This comes as Mr Macron held crisis talks with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne today over the unpopular proposals. 

President Macron has instructed Ms Borne to open consultations over his plans with opposition and union leaders in the next few weeks. 

The prime minister pushed the proposals through using constitutional clause 49.3, which allows the government to force a Bill through parliament without a vote unless a vote of no confidence is carried.

The government survived two votes of no confidence but the move sparked nationwide protests, met with a brutal police clampdown.

In a sign of government fragility, this was the 11th time that Ms Borne has used the controversial clause since becoming prime minister in May of last year. 

On Sunday Ms Borne said she now wanted “to bring calm to the country in the face of these tensions.”

Communist Deputy Mayor of Paris Ian Brossat tweeted: “Yesterday, Macron refused to receive the unions. Today, he is ready to do so — but with no mention of retreat.”

He added: “They don’t care about us. Tomorrow, the mobilisation goes up a notch.”

The French authorities have faced criticism for the behaviour of the police during the protests.

Annie Ernaux, the 2022 Nobel literature laureate, was among 45 signatories to an open letter calling for an investigation of an alleged sexual assault against four women students on March 14 by police in the western city of Nantes following a union protest.

On Sunday, the IGPN, the internal affairs unit of the French police, said it had opened 17 investigations into incidents since the protests began on January 19.

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