French government won't budge despite riots

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French government won't budge despite riots

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The French government says it will stand firm on pension reform despite continued unrest.

Riots led by high school students have rolled into a third day. Already hit by fuel shortages, residents of France’s second city, Lyon, were left without public transport, which was stopped as a safety precaution.

Once again the streets were littered with broken glass under clouds of tear gas and the smoke from vehicles set on fire by teenage rioters.

The government has promised to compensate any businesses that have suffered damage during the riots.

The French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux was in Lyon, where more than a hundred people have been arrested since the clashes flared on Monday. Brice Hortefeux said:

He said: “I’ve come to reassure the people of Lyon that this violence will be punished. The police are fully mobilised and we will never allow small groups of thugs transform parts of our country into battlefields.”

There was also rioting in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, although like in Lyon, the situation has been calmer than in previous days.

Unions who oppose government plans to raise the retirement age were keen to distance themselves from the trouble-makers.