France pensions protests draw 480,000 by midday: government

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The latest mass protests against pensions reform in France drew 480,000 demonstrators into the streets by midday on Tuesday, the government said, a slight dip compared with the last comparable day of marches.

The interior ministry said the midday turnout, based on a police count, was down from a figure of 500,000 at the same time during the last weekday demonstrations on October 12.

Protests took place in Marseille and other French towns on Tuesday morning and a big march was planned in Paris in the early afternoon.

Unions' estimates for turnout at the recent demonstrations have been almost three times higher than those of police.

© 2010 AFP

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