The streets of Paris, France, are completely littered with garbage due to mass protests and strikes against the president raising the retirement age for pensions.
The legal retirement age was raised from 62 to 64 after president Emmanuel Macron invoked a special constitutional power, which allowed him to side-step the lower house of Parliament and pass the bill without a vote.
Parliament still had the ability to set about a no-confidence vote but was unable to reach a majority of votes to halt the reform.
Macron has argued that raising the retirement age is essential to decreasing pension costs as life expectancy rises and the number of retirees increases compared to workers.
Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets for weeks, and unions from different sectors have also gone on strike to oppose the new pension reform.
These include, most notably, garbage collectors in the capital, who have been striking for more than two weeks, leaving several streets of Paris littered with garbage.
Protesters say the new pension reform will force them to work even longer and preventing them from resting properly during their senior years.
“I’m fortunate to live here, but I’m 200% behind these guys. They’re smelling it all day long. They should get early retirement,” one resident said, according to AP.
On Tuesday, the Paris police chief ordered sanitation workers to pick up the trash, but at least 9,300 tons of garbage was left uncollected as of Monday March 20, Paris’ City Hall announced, according to AP.
Photos shared on social media showed mountains of trash all over the streets.
People on TikTok have created images that contrast the glamorized view of the city of love, such as in the Netflix show “Emily in Paris,” with the reality.
Meanwhile, videos showed Parisians drinking wine while protestors lit a fire in the middle of the street.
Opponents of Macron’s reform are still searching for ways to revert his plans, but it is uncertain if any of them will work.