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【AS IT IS】法国因全国罢工而关闭,抗议活动开始 France Shuts Down As Nationwide Strike, Protests Begin

来源:慢速英语   时间:2020-01-11 11:06:47

The Eiffel Tower closed down and France's high-speed trains stood still Thursday as labor unions launched nationwide strikes.

The unions are protesting the government's plan to reform the retirement system.




Officials in Paris set up barriers around the home of France's president and deployed 6,000 police officers as activists gathered for a march through the city. Many of the protesters wore yellow vests.

The strikes are the biggest test to the president since the yellow vest movement for economic justice was launched a year ago. Organizers hope a mass show of anger toward his reform plan will force the government to make concessions.

巴黎的官员在法国总统的住所周围设置了障碍,并派出6000名警察,激进分子齐聚巴黎游行。 许多抗议者穿着黄色背心。

自一年前发起黄色经济正义背心运动以来,罢工是对总统的最大考验。 组织者希望群众对他的改革计划表示愤怒,将迫使政府做出让步。

To Macron, the reforms are central to his effort to make France more competitive internationally. His government argues that the country's 42 retirement systems need to be simpler and more effective.

All French retirees receive a government pension, but there are differences across the retirement systems. People working for private businesses are part of the general pension system. They make up about seven in 10 workers. But experts and professionals in many fields have a special pension plan. Some people, like railroad workers and flight crews, are permitted to take early retirement. Others, like doctors and lawyers, pay less tax.




Macron wants to replace the retirement system with a unified plan, so that all workers have the same pension rights.

While some private sector workers welcome Macron's reform, others support the strikers.



Public sector workers fear Macron's reform will force them to work longer than those in the private sector. They also fear it will reduce the size of their pensions. They see the strike as an effort to save France's protections for workers.

Joseph Kakou works as an overnight security guard in western Paris. He walked an hour to get home to the eastern side of the city on Thursday morning.

He told The Associated Press,"It doesn't please us to walk. It doesn't please us to have to strike. But we are obliged to because we can't work until 90 years old."


Joseph Kakou在巴黎西部担任通宵保安。周四早晨,他步行一个小时回到市区东部。



An open-ended movement

Many workers in and around Paris worked from home or spent the day with their children. Almost 80 percent of teachers in the French capital were on strike.

In preparation for possible violence and damage on the route of the Paris march, police ordered all restaurants and other businesses along the way to close.



Police closely inspected more than 3,000 people arriving for the protest and detained 18 people even before it started. Embassies warned visitors to avoid the protest area.

Parisians are not the only ones striking. Thousands of union activists marched through French cities from Marseille on the Mediterranean to Lille in the north.


智利的弗拉基米尔·马德拉(Vladimir Madeira)曾去巴黎度假。他说罢工是一场“噩梦”。马德拉(Madeira)说,直到他到达巴黎,他才听说过抗议活动。他原计划周四直接从法国前往瑞士,但取消旅行改变了他的计划。

It is unknown how long the strike will last. Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said she expects the travel difficulties to continue through Friday.

Labor unions say the protest is an open-ended movement. They hope the strike continues for at least a week, in hopes of forcing the government to change its plans.




Words in This Story:

vest- n.a sleeveless piece of clothing with buttons down the front that is worn over a shirt and under a suit jacket

concessions- n. the act of giving up something or doing something in order to reach agreement

sector- n. an area of an economy

metro- n. an underground railway system in some cities

scooter- n. a small vehicle with two wheels that is powered by a motor and that has a low seat and a flat area for resting your feet

route- n. a way to get from one place to another place

nightmare- n. a very bad or frightening experience or situation

oblige- v. to force or require (someone or something) to do something because of a law or rule or because it is necessary


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