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Thousands in Paris protest the EU fiscal pact

Tens of thousands marched through the streets of Paris today in opposition to the European Union fiscal treaty.

France protest 2012 09 30Enlarge
Protesters march against austerity measures and the EU fiscal pact on Sept. 30, 2012, in Paris. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of trade unionists and far-left supporters marched through the streets of Paris today in opposition to the European Union fiscal treaty designed to pull Europe out of its economic crisis, Reuters reported.

"This treaty will considerably worsen the situation in the European Union and in France," one protester, Pierre Khalfa, told Reuters. "We can already see that austerity policies in Europe are leading to recession, so we need to start a movement against these policies, which will lead our country into a wall."

France’s Left Front Party, which helped organize the demonstration, said 80,000 people marched, The Associated Press reported.

The protest, which follows similar demonstrations against the fiscal pact in Spain and Portugal, was timed for this weekend because next week parliamentary debate on the ratification of the treaty begins, the Financial Times reported.

The protest disrupted Paris Fashion Week. Designer John Galliano’s runway show was delayed by nearly an hour because his models and clothes were held up in the gridlock, Woman’s Wear Daily reported.

The fiscal pact is supported by French President Francois Hollande, and the march was the first major demonstration against him since he was elected in May, Reuters reported. He released a budget on Friday that does not include austerity measures that other European countries are implementing, but his popularity has hit a low of 43 percent.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120930/thousands-paris-protest-the-eu-fiscal-pact