'French Spiderman' climbs Paris skyscraper as protest against pension law


A free climber known as the "French Spiderman" scaled a 38-storey skyscraper in Paris on Wednesday to demonstrate his support for protesters angry about a pension law that will delay the age at which people can retire in France.

Alain Robert, 60, climbs without a harness, using only his bare hands and a pair of climbing shoes.

"I'm here to show my support for those who oppose the pension reform," he told Reuters before starting his ascent of the 150-metre skyscrapper in Paris' La Defense business district.

"I'm here to tell (President) Emmanuel Macron to come back down to earth... by climbing with no safety net."

Robert said the pension reform, which Macron signed into law at the weekend after months of street protests, meant that, combined with a loss of income due to the COVID pandemic, he would have to keep on working, and climbing, for longer.

Under the reform, the French retirement age will gradually rise from 62 to 64.

Robert has scaled more than 150 towering structures worldwide, including Dubai's Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building - the Eiffel Tower, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

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