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>> Clashes on the streets in France, marking the first big test for Emmanuel Macron's presidency. And his government's plans to revamp the French economy. Thousands from Marseilles to Bordeaux, protesting against changes to the country's labor laws. Organizers billed it as the first phase of a public uprising against Macron's reform agenda.
But numbers were lower than expected. And only a fraction of the turnout that surfaced against former president Francois Hollande's version of the labor reforms. Reuters' Richard Lough, in Paris.>> Appetite on the streets for protesting against these reforms looks fairly muted at this point. And there are a couple of reasons, perhaps, for that.
The first is that the economy is in a fairly healthy state right now. The second reason is that the unions themselves are divided over Macron's labor reforms.>> The protests were also overshadowed by remarks made by Macron last week. The president talking to French expats in Athens, assuring them he would cede no ground to, quote, slackers.
His opponents pounced on it, saying Macron was dismissing French workers and the unemployed. That becoming somewhat of a rallying cry on Tuesday. Protesters chanting, slackers on strike. A term that could come to haunt Macron later in his five year mandate.>> Whilst he seems to have pulled off the labor reforms without too much social unrest, there are sterner challenges ahead.
He plans to overhaul unemployment insurance in the months to come, a potentially explosive issue. And then next year, he plans early on to tackle pension reform.