The presence of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in the final of the French Cup, which is being held this Saturday, has turned the match into a high-risk match. The protests against the controversial pension reform, promulgated a few weeks ago and to which the entire country opposes, could reach the playing field: The unions have threatened to boycott the act, and cause a blackout, as happened on Thursday in another meeting. The stadium was left in the dark. 3,000 police officers will be deployed and the Paris prefecture has prevented demonstrations around the stadium.
During these last two weeks, after the law was promulgated, Macron has been hooted and booed at every move he has made. A few days ago, the unions cut off the electricity at the hospital he was visiting, and the same thing happened last week at the school where he went to talk about education. The saucepans chase him and also the ministers. The one from Education, Pap Ndiaye, was barely able to get off the train during his visit to Lyon.
On Saturday the unions are going to distribute 30,000 red cards and 10,000 whistles at the entrance, to organize a great red card whistle for the president. Whistles are prohibited within the state so as not to interfere with the officiating. The cards bear the inscription: "Red card to retirement at age 64." They will be distributed at the exit of the subway and other transport at five, four hours before the meeting begins.
Despite the risk, Macron has confirmed his presence, although he will probably not go down to the field of play, as is customary, to greet the teams. The whistle is scheduled to take place in the 49th minute of the game, in reference to the article of the Constitution (49.3) that Macron used to approve the pension reform by decree, without going through the vote of Parliament. He did it because he wasn't sure he had enough support.
Security has been tightened after all these incidents. The match between Nantes and Toulouse is already highly tense, due to the rivalry between the two teams. Interior has increased security, one of the biggest concerns, especially after the incidents in the Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, almost a year ago, and in which there were numerous incidents, both at the entrance and around the stadium, where many fans were robbed and mugged by local criminals.
To avoid this, 3,000 agents have been deployed, 1,000 more than in that final. Fences will be erected in both funds to prevent fans from jumping onto the field and there will be security drones. As the unions have threatened power cuts, electrical transformers will be monitored especially and there will be generators.
The government spokesman, Olivier Veran, has criticized that the protests are transferred to sport: "The French Cup final is not a Roman-style circus game, it is not the CGT with its imperial thumb that could decide who to boo to the President of the Republic, to whom to cut off the light during a match", he said.
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