(The Hague) French President Emmanuel Macron was interrupted in The Hague on Tuesday by demonstrators who challenged him on “democracy” and pensions as he prepared to deliver a speech on the future of the Europe.

“Where is French democracy? “The climate convention is not respected,” protesters shouted from the stands while unrolling a banner on which was written in English “President of violence and hypocrisy”.

“You have millions of demonstrators in the streets”, they also launched, while the French government has been confronted since the beginning of the year with a very strong challenge to its reform aiming to postpone from 62 to 64 years the retirement age.

“It’s very important to have a social debate,” replied the French head of state when he was able to speak again after a minute’s interruption. “I can answer all the questions about what we are discussing in France”, “this is a democracy and a democracy is exactly a place where you can demonstrate” and see “this type of intervention”, he said. He underlines.

But “the day you say to yourself ‘when I disagree with the law that was passed or the people that were elected, I can do whatever I want because I decide for myself the legitimacy of what I do. “You are putting democracy at risk,” Emmanuel Macron continued.

Picking up the thread of his speech on European economic policy, the French president then returned to his reform, on the merits.

“When I compare” with other European countries, the French “should be less pissed off at me,” he sighed. “Because in your country” the retirement age “is much higher, and in many countries in Europe it is much higher than 64,” he insisted.