On March 17th evening, the Place de la Concorde demonstrations degenerated. It began in the afternoon to protest against the government's decision to place confidence and vote for the pension reform law approved by circumventing the voice of the National Assembly. The revision, a cornerstone of French President Emmanuel Macron's electoral campaign, provides for raising the age from 62 to 64 to leave the job definitively.
The night in Paris, they were transformed into urban warfare, with a balance of 258 arrests made by the police. In all of France, there were 310. The protests in the Montparnasse district had not been announced and scheduled, and they have gathered 1,7 million people. The police attempted to evict the manifests using water cannons and tear gas. The groups present freed themselves in acts of violence by destroying and setting fire to vehicles, and some bins were burned, clashing with the police officers present. The next day of the protest will be on 23rd of March.
Regarding the retirement changement settlement, this sudden strategy is due to the need for certainty of sufficient numbers to approve the text. The government chaired by Elisabeth Borne, French prime minister, activated article 49.3 of the Constitution before the National Assembly, which allows the reform to be approved without a vote of Parliament. Borne took the "responsibility" for that choice made. But a strong disagreement was unleashed in the Chamber by the opposition deputies who loudly booed the prime minister and sang the national anthem.
The go-ahead for the controversial article 7 – the symbol of protest – took place with 201 in favour and 115 against it (out of 345 votes) after a heated battle between the right (majority in the Senate) and the left. The deputies have 24 hours to present the motion, which will probably be voted on the following Monday, the 20th of March, and it will need 289 votes to be approved. Le Pen declared that she’d present one. Julien Bayou, an ecologist of the Nupes coalition, said he favoured a "trans-partisan" motion. The votes of the Républicains would also be needed to have a majority and bring down the government in office.
Since his first electoral campaign in 2017, Macron has announced it as a reform proposal. At the time, what the future president was thinking was a universal points system, then priorities changed with the arrival of the pandemic. With his re-election in spring 2022, Macron has once again made reform his priority, returning to a pay-as-you-go system: pensions are paid with the contributions of those who are currently working and not with those who have worked. With the reform, it will be possible to retire only at 64 in 2030, with a gradual increase of three months each year from the outset.
Emergency, the streets of Paris are flooded with over 7,000 tons of rubbish because of protests by street cleaners for more than a week. In the meantime, the city's inhabitants have been asked to keep the trash inside their houses. Bars and restaurants have resorted to private companies for the eviction. However, piles of garbage are everywhere: from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower and in many other places in the most visited city in the world.
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