France protests – level 3

31-03-2023 15:00

One police and a protester were seriously injured in clashes during an unauthorized demonstration against the construction of a reservoir for farm irrigation in Western France.

At least 6,000 protesters joined the march and they threw fireworks and other projectiles at the police as they crossed fields to approach the construction area.

France’s worst drought on record last summer sharpened the debate over water resources in the European Union’s biggest agricultural sector. Supporters said that artificial reservoirs were a way to use water efficiently when needed. However, critics called the reservoirs mega basins that were outsized and favored large farms.

The irrigation project protest comes after weeks of anti-pension reform demonstrations that have turned violent. The French government pushed through the legislation without a final parliamentary vote.

Difficult words: unauthorized (not having official permission or approval), irrigation (the supply of water to land or crops), outsized (exceptionally large).

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What implications do the anti-pension reform demonstrations and this reservoir construction project have on France's economy and society?


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