'French Spiderman' climbs Paris skyscraper to support pension strikers
Updated: 2020-01-14 17:32:26 KST
At 187 meters, the Total tower is one of the tallest buildings in Paris.
But 57-year-old Alain Robert has just a chalk bag and his climbing shoes to help him as he climbs the skyscraper without even a rope or harness.
Robert, the so-called "French Spiderman", scaled the Total tower in the French capital's business district on Monday, to show his support for French workers striking against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform plans.
"Pensions are important. People work for so many years, and most workers don't have a job that they enjoy. So when people accomplish their forty years of hard work, they want to maintain a decent standard of living and not see their revenues shrink just because they became inactive."
The protesters are against the French government's plan to simplify the current pension system, and extend the official retirement age from 62 to 64.
They claim they would be short-changed and that the government is using a 'special scheme' to have citizens work longer and get paid less.
And Robert says he's no exception.
"If the law is passing, I am having to climb free solo until the age of 64. I am making a living from some sponsors but sponsors give me something only if I am climbingSo I am a little bit stuck and I am deeply concerned."
France has been dogged by strikes and street protests for more than a month as unions push back against Macron's drive to streamline the pension system and avert a looming 19 billion U.S. dollar pension deficit.
Over the weekend, the French government said it was willing to withdraw a proposal to raise the retirement age to break the deadlock with the unions.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.