French unions launch massive strikes to protest retirement reform

People demonstrating during France's general strike
People demonstrating during France's general strike in Paris. Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

French unions marched through Paris on Thursday, barricading the presidential palace and forcing the closure of the Eiffel Tower as a part of a nationwide strike to protest the government’s plan to reform the country's retirement system, the AP reports.

The big picture: Organizers hoped to caution French President Emmanuel Macron against pursuing the reform, which many fear will disrupt the country's social safety nets, shrinking pensions and forcing longer work hours.

Trump and Macron spar over Turkey's role in NATO

Macron and Trump
Photo: Ludovic Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron papered over the cracks in their relationship in a press conference Tuesday in London, but disagreed sharply over Turkey’s role in the NATO alliance.

Why it matters: Macron made waves ahead of this week’s NATO gathering by describing the alliance as unmoored and "brain dead" as a result of the U.S. pulling back and Turkey going rogue — comments Trump described Tuesday morning as “very insulting.” Trump has been agitated with Macron for weeks, Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports.