Britain’s King Charles has postponed a state visit to France after social unrest over President Emmanuel Macron’s new pension law erupted into some of the worst street violence seen in years across the country.
Speaking at a news conference after a summit in Brussels on Friday, Macron said it would not have reflected “common sense and friendship” to “propose a visit in the middle of the demonstrations”.
He also condemned the violence that erupted during Thursday’s protests against raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, and said he would not give in to it.
“We will yield nothing to violence, I condemn violence with the utmost strength,” Macron said.
Macron is under pressure to find a way out of a crisis that has seen some of France’s worst street violence in years over unpopular pension reforms he has pushed through parliament without a vote.
The now-postponed visit by the UK monarch and his wife was meant to be Charles III’s first major foray on the international stage as king and a prestigious celebration of historic cross-Channel relations before he is officially crowned in May.
The 74-year-old monarch and Queen Consort Camilla, who had been due in Paris on Sunday, “greatly look forward to the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be found”, Buckingham Palace said.
Macron said Charles’s visit would likely be rescheduled for the beginning of summer.
The UK government said Macron had requested the postponement.