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    Posted September 7, 2010 by
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    The Big One....or, just a Party?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     yadray took these photos just as the march was starting in Paris. He said organizers are expecting two million people, but it was hard for him to say how many were actually there. Marchers are scheduled in about 200 French cities to protest plans to raise the retirement age.
    - davidw, CNN iReport producer

    Paris, Place de la Republique...2 p.m.


    .....The national strike which organizers hope will bring 2 million protesters to the streets of Päris,...from Place de la Republique to Place de la Bastille and then on to Place de la Nation is underway right now.

        Workers from the public sector..teachers, nurses, all transportation services including Air France and metro are marching in protest against President Sarkozy's proposal to increase the retirement age from 60-62 over 8 years in attempt to reduce the social service deficit which this year is 10 billion euro and by the year 2020 is expected to reach 50 billion.  Workers in the private sector   are not participating.

      This is a make or break issue which will determine the future of Sarkozy's presidency which stands at its lowest point in approval ratings...a mere 32%.  and more importantly the issue will supposedly have great impact on the European union and how the other countries deal with their own similar economic problems and how they will implement their own austerity measures.

        Will this strike have an impact on the upcoming vote in the French legislature or will it be seen as just another street party?


       The 2nd part of this report, submitted near the conclusion of the demonstration at Place de la Nation can be viewed at:



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