Thousands of policemen protest in Marseilles

28th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

Thousands of policemen – 2,000 according to the prefecture of police and 3,500 according to the organisers – protested in the streets of Marseilles on Tuesday.

Thousands of policemen – 2,000 according to the prefecture of police and 3,500 according to the organisers – protested in the streets of Marseilles on Tuesday.

Policemen are complaining about their work conditions as well as their obligation to yield results and 'make their quotas', said the UNSA-Police, the first labour union for policemen in France.

Joaquin Masanet, the secretary general of the UNSA-Police, said that police workers are dissatisfied in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region but also in Paris, in the South West and in Auvergne.

Masanet wants the French police to be given the resources to do their job properly and wants police workers to be better remunerated.

"Is it normal that a policeman's basic salary is EUR 1,293? If the risk bonus is deducted we barely make minimal wage", Masanet said. He also pointed out that eight policemen died on duty in 2005 and 11,000, or 10 percent, were injured.

The police protest coincided with presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the southern city of Marseilles. Joaquin Masanet maintained that the protest had been planned before they knew about Sarkozy's visit but Synergie, the second police labour union, denounced the political nature of the protest.

Synergie said in the press release that it deplored "the attitude of some, who, a few weeks before the presidential elections, take police forces hostage and manipulate them to benefit a political party of their choosing."

The press release did not mention anyone in particular but it is clear that this criticism is aimed at Joaquin Masanet considered an ally to Segolene Royal.

Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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