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France on Fire After President Passes Unpopular Pension Reform

France has been left in disarray after the new disputed pension reform has become law, despite initially not receiving enough parliamentary votes.

Angry chants echo the streets of France, fires scatter throughout Paris, and mountains of garbage are left piled up around the city. Refuse collectors, and energy and transport services all joined the strike in January, to dissent from the controversial reform to the country’s pension system. The protesting unions declared: “This retirement reform is brutal, unjust, unjustified for the world of workers.”

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected Parliament last Thursday by initiating Article 49.3 minutes before the National Assembly could conduct their vote. Ultimately this resulted in the retirement age increasing from 62 to 64. The constitutional article allows the President, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, to engage the responsibility of the government before the National Assembly for the vote on texts. In essence, it allows forceful passage of legislation without a vote. Macron’s use of Article 49.3 triggered a motion of no confidence from Parliament. In such circumstances, deputies may opt to table a motion of censure within 24 hours.

In response to the highly contentious move, two motions of censure were tabled on Friday. One by the centrist Libertés Indépendants Outre-Mer & Territoires (LIOT) group and the other by the far-right National Rally (RN) party. If the motion of censure were to be adopted, the Bill could be abandoned, and the French government would be forced to resign.

For this to occur an absolute majority of 287 votes is required which can only occur if all deputies including 25 LR (right-wing, Les Républicains) MPs voted for the motion – this would be a first since 1962. A new Cabinet would be named and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne could be reappointed.

Monday at 4 pm CET, it was announced by the National Assembly’s President Yaël Braun-Pivet that: “The censure motion does not pass”, the parliamentary chamber immediately filled with loud boos. The government will not fall and has survived by 9 votes. Confirming that the pension reform is to be adopted at its first reading. President Macron’s signature pension Bill will now become law.

The Pension Advisory Council (COR, Conseil d’Orientation des Retraites) forecasts a deficit of around €13.5 billion by 2030. Macron’s intention behind raising the retirement age is to make the French economy more competitive in response to economic challenges caused by low birth rates, resulting in fewer young workers who contribute to the funding for current pensioners.

More than 7,000 protestors gathered at Place de La Concorde in Paris on Thursday, where leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon told the crowd that Macron has gone: “over the heads of the will of the people.”

Yesterday evening after the motion of censure outcome was announced, members of the hard-left France Unbowed party promptly held up signs that read: “64 years. It’s a No.” and “Meeting on the Street.”

The parliamentary leader of France Unbowed, Mathilde Panot called on Borne to resign and described the situation as a “political crisis that Emmanuel Macron created himself.”

Many lawmakers from France Unbowed are among the protest, joining other residents in Paris to show their support.

Protestors immediately surged and chanted more belligerently than ever before after hearing the outcome, several clashes erupted with police officers attending the scenes, and severe fires yet again broke out on the streets of Paris.





Edited By:Yasmin Hailes

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Tags: #Paris #Breakingnews #Retraite #Parisstrikes #Pensionreform


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