Nationwide strikes and protests continued in France for an eighth day Thursday against President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform plans.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the French people needed to work two years longer to get a full pension, drawing a hostile response from trade unions, which said they would step up strike action to force an about-turn.

Tensions have been escalating in France after a meeting Monday between Jean-Paul Delevoye, the minister and high commissioner in charge of pension reform, and labor union leaders failed to break the impasse.

French unions called for people to take

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