PV International Desk : Hundreds of thousands of French protesters took to the streets Tuesday in a pension reform standoff that has sparked nearly two weeks of crippling transport strikes, with the government vowing it will not give in to union demands to drop the overhaul.

Police said they fired tear gas in Paris after protesters hurled projectiles at them, with 30 people arrested in the French capital.

Pressure is growing on President Emmanuel Macron just days before the Christmas break and late Tuesday he named a new pensions chief to lead fresh talks with the unions set for Wednesday.

Lawmaker Laurent Pietraszewski will oversee the negotiations, replacing the last top official who was forced to resign on Monday when it emerged he had failed to declare income.

Teachers, hospital workers and other public employees joined transport workers on Tuesday for the third big day of marches since the dispute began on December 5.