Foreign Office issues new warning as French protests escalate

By Lisa James
17/03/2023
Home » Foreign Office issues new warning as French protests escalate

The UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to France, warning the growing number of protests taking part across the country could turn violent.

The update follows demonstrations, looting and clashes with police throughout France on Thursday night, including a protest of about 2,000 people outside parliament in Paris.

More than 300 arrests were made, according to the Interior Minister.

The protests follow President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to push through pension reform without a parliamentary vote.

Protests have continued this morning, including 200 people briefly blocking traffic on a major road just outside Paris and strikes at refineries.

The FCDO said: “On 16 March largescale demonstrations started in central Paris and elsewhere in France and police presence increased.

“Protests could turn violent and/or continue. These could lead to disruptions to road travel.

“Several unions have called for rolling cross-sector strike action from Tuesday 7 March, with coordinated cross-sector action planned on Thursday 23 March. Industrial action may start the evening before the strike day and run for several days.

“Localised or sector-specific strikes could also occur outside these dates. Industrialised action may lead to disruption to services.”

The FCDO repeated its advice to Brits to check the latest situation with operators before travelling, avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities.

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