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Why are French workers on strike?

France's biggest strike in decades has shut down public transport services and reduced the number of hospital staff, teachers and police officers at work in the latest protest against President Emmanuel Macron's reforms.
In this case, unions representing millions of staff in both the public and private sectors are unhappy about a plan to overhaul the country's pension system, which they say will force people to work longer or face reduced payouts when they retire.
One opinion poll put public support for the latest strike action at 69%, with backing strongest among 18-34 year-olds.
So why is Mr Macron looking to implement such unpopular new measures - and just how controversial are they?
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