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French Student Protests Add to Macron’s Rail Strike Woes

French Student Protests Add to  Macron’s Rail Strike WoesFrench Student Protests Add to  Macron’s Rail Strike Woes

Growing protests at French universities on Wednesday added to pressure on President Emmanuel Macron over his sweeping reform agenda, as rail workers pressed on with rolling strikes that are causing havoc for millions of travelers.

Train drivers and other railway staff waged a second day of strikes set to continue two days out of every five until June 28, unless Macron backs down on his plans to overhaul the heavily-indebted state rail operator SNCF, AFP reported.

In the meantime, students at two universities in Paris and Lyon blocked campuses in anger at Macron’s plans to make university entry more selective, joining a slew of nationwide sit-ins that have disrupted classes for weeks.

French unions and left-wingers have consistently called for students and workers to come together to resist Macron in a re-run 50 years later of the famed May 1968 anti-government demonstrations which saw them join forces.

“I’m working for a May 2018,” radical leftist and former presidential candidate Olivier Besancenot told France Inter radio on Wednesday.

Macron, a 40-year-old ex-investment banker, has vowed to reshape France with far-reaching reforms designed to increase economic growth and cut mounting public debt.

After storming to power last May at the head of a new centrist party, he insists he has a mandate for change.

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