Tear gas, clashes mar French protests over labor law reforms

French police clashed today with hundreds of protesters in Paris, sending clouds of tear gas wafting across the city's Place de la Nation traffic circle.

PTI| Updated: Apr 09, 2016, 23:35 PM IST

Paris: French police clashed today with hundreds of protesters in Paris, sending clouds of tear gas wafting across the city's Place de la Nation traffic circle.

The unrest was one of several rallies marred by violence amid nationwide peaceful protests against the labor reforms being championed by the country's Socialist government.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Paris to protest the changes to the rules governing layoffs and France's 35-hour work week.

Officials hope the changes will inject some flexibility into the country's stagnant labor market. But many on the left fear it will do little more than weaken the nation's generous social protections.

Local media counted at least 200 demonstrations across France, including a march in Paris kicking off from Place de la Republique, the home of a round-the-clock Occupy Wall Street-style sit-in that materialized in reaction to the reforms.

There were clashes elsewhere. French television broadcast scenes from the western city of Rennes, where police faced off with gas mask-wearing, shield-wielding rioters clad all in black.

Continued unrest over the labor plans is piling the pressure on France's ruling Socialists, who have already been forced to retreat over security plans to pull the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of terrorism.