Protests erupt in France after government raises pension age to 64

Protests erupted across France after the government went ahead with plans to raise the pension age.

It survived a no-confidence call by just nine votes - but the resentment is far from over.

The city of light and love was lit up with anger because the French don't want to work past the age of 62. 

And they are protesting overtime to get their way. 

"It's very frightening, it's kind of overwhelming and it's very intense," one person told Newshub.

Everywhere people turned in Paris there were police in riot gear running, sirens and smoke filling the streets, as the fight against the rise in pension age turned vicious.

Last week the government pushed through controversial legislation to raise the age to 64 without allowing parliament to vote on it.

It prompted the opposition to trigger a vote of no confidence this afternoon. If successful - the Bill and French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne would both have been gone.

But it failed - the pension rise was green-lit and within minutes - the public reacted.

"It's too late to change now," one local told Newshub.

The public chose to cast their vote on the streets instead. 

Police officers were stationed at every corner with many of them on the main street leading up to the opera house in Paris, where they were expecting protestors to storm down there.

Famous tourist hotspots were filled with fiery fury, barricades were smashed as protestors demanded democracy.

When Newshub asked a French local 'What do you say to New Zealanders who work until they're 65 before they get the pension?'

He told Newshub: "I say to them here we starting to work 14, 15, 16, starting to work at 16 years old, that is why people are so upset because they are so young when they start working."

Since the legislation change was first mooted months ago, mass industrial action has been plaguing the country.

Garbage workers have been striking for days and now the trash all over Paris is becoming a weapon - with protestors lighting fires everywhere they go.

"The French know how to strike. They're going to keep going until they get what they want," one person told Newshub.

It will likely get worse before it's over for good.

"People who have dreams don't give up, and the French don't give up," another person told Newshub.

The unions have told people to hold their fire for Thursday (local time) when a supersized, nationwide mobilisation is planned.

The protests in Paris were just a warm-up act.