Protests against pension reform in France could result in a power blackout at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, according to French media.
Widespread unhappiness with Emmanuel Macron’s rise in the minimum pension age from 62 to 64 has resulted in recent protests, after talks between trade unions and the prime minister failed to help matters.
With the government pushing through pensions changes without a parliamentary vote, strikes affecting transport, schools, and refineries have already taken place, with Sophie Binet, the leader of the CGT trade union, calling for further action from the French public.
“We have to continue mobilising until the end, until the government understands there is no way out other than withdrawing this reform,” she said.
“We can’t move on to anything else until this reform is repealed.”
This weekend, the CGT Energy unions announced a planned ‘100 days of action and anger’, in particular targeting high-profile events like the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix – both of which are scheduled during May.
“Macron has promised 100 days to appease, we promise him 100 days of action and anger! The time is far from resignation,” the unions of the National Federation Mines Energy (FNME) said in a statement, as reported by Agence France-Presse.
The group confirmed plans to continue with “energy disturbances” targeting the location of Macron during scheduled trips.
“In May, do what you please! The Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Roland-Garros tournament, the Avignon festival could end up in the dark! We won’t let go!” the statement continued.
Electricity cutoffs will be used to win “all our demands”, said the union, who claimed two power cuts this week – at Montpellier airport and a college, while Macron was visiting.
With Macron signing the pension reforms into law last weekend, demonstrations and protests are expected to escalate.
However, PlanetF1.com understands that prodigious use of backup power supplies such as generators, which are in place for all Grands Prix, means that even a widespread power outage would likely have little effect on the running of the Grand Prix weekend.