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Sarkozy calls for calm as violence erupts in protests over pension reforms

10-20-2010 08:05 BJT

PARIS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicoals Sarkozy on Tuesday urged all parties to assume their responsibility to avoid any eventual violence outbreaks during demonstrations against the country's retirement reforms.

"I'm sure everyone knows how to show composure. I appeal for responsibility of all actors so that things do not exceed certain limits," local radio RTL quoted Sarkozy as saying.

"Moreover, we must be very careful about the arrival of a number of thugs. I will also see with police forces to ensure that public order will be guaranteed, it is also my duty," the French head of state added on the sidelines of a meeting with German and Russian leaders in Deauville, northern France.

Violence erupted during demonstrations on Paris streets and in the southern city of Lyon, where many cars were burned or damaged in clashes between protesting youth and riot police. Hundreds of young people were arrested.

According to the Education Ministry, courses were disrupted in a record 379 secondary schools as hundreds of students walked out from classrooms to express their refusal of the rise in retirement age in the hope of defending their right to jobs.

Sarkozy said that he planned to hold a meeting at the Elysee Palace later this evening to "unlock a number of situations."


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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