French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks with schoolchildren in a classroom during a prevention session on the papillomavirus (HPV infection) as he visits the Jean Lartaut Middle School in Jarnac, western France, on February 28, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaPARIS (Sputnik) – The approval rating of French President Emmanuel Macron has dropped to 28%, the levels unseen since the 2019 yellow vests protests, an IFOP poll commissioned by French magazine Le Journal du Dimanche showed on Sunday. It is noted that the president’s approval decline came after Macron’s decision earlier this week to invoke the Article 49.3 of the French constitution, which allowed the government to override the parliament to raise the retirement age. The poll was conducted online among 1,928 adult French citizens from March 9-16 from different population segments. The margin of error stood at 1%-2.3%. WorldJob Walkouts, Mass Rallies & Fiery Rhetoric: What Are the Nationwide French Protests About?17 March, 13:25 GMTIn January, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne unveiled a draft of the pension reform that the government plans to adopt in 2023. Under the reform project, the French authorities intend to gradually raise the retirement age in the country from 62 by three months per year starting from September 1, 2023. By 2030, the retirement age will reach 64. The draft reform has caused a massive backlash in French society. There have already been seven general strikes and hundreds of demonstrations in France within the last two months, with over 1 million people taking part in most of them. During the protests, clashes often broke out between the police and protesters.