25 Mar 2023

From pensions to drought – is there more to protests in France?

Social Affairs Editor and Presenter

There have been more scenes of violent protest in France today. But this time, it’s not President Macron’s attempt to raise the pension age that’s prompted the demonstrations.

The thousands who gathered near Sainte-Soline in South West France today are determined to oppose plans for a new water storage system they say favours large farms.

But as police vans were set on fire, and the authorities accused demonstrators of throwing molotov cocktails at security forces, once again it was anger at the authorities driving the protest.

We spoke to Sophie Pedder, the Paris bureau chief for the Economist, and the author of ‘Revolution Francaise – Emmanuel Macron and the quest to Reinvent a Nation’. We asked her what was behind today’s water protest.