France braces for more nationwide strikes and protests as Macron stands firm on pension reform

As France continues to prepare for nationwide strikes and protests over President Emmanuel Macron's proposed pension reforms, the leader stands firm in his commitment to the changes.

The proposed reforms, which would replace France's 42 different pension systems with a single, points-based system, have been met with widespread opposition from French citizens, unions and other groups.

The strikes, which began on December 5th, have caused major disruption for commuters, with more than half of France's high-speed trains, and a third of its regional trains, being cancelled. Many other forms of public transportation, including subways and buses, have also been affected.

The strikes have also seen hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in protest. On Tuesday, police estimated that 140,000 people had taken part in demonstrations across France, with smaller protests also taking place in other European cities.

Despite the opposition to the reforms, Macron has remained firm in his commitment to them. In a statement this week, he defended the proposed changes, saying that they would make France's pension system more sustainable in the long-term.

Macron has also sought to reassure workers that the reforms would not affect their retirement age or the amount of pension they will receive.

It is unclear how long the strikes and protests will continue, but with Macron standing firm on the reforms, it appears that the disruptions could be here for some time yet.