Retirement age will increase in France, people took to the streets against the proposal, violent protests
During the protest, some protesters climbed to a renovated site near the National Assembly, which was dispersed by police with tear gas. During this, the protesters burst fireworks and pelted stones at the police. Most of the protests took place in Paris and its surrounding cities.
Paris. Two days of protests against a proposal to raise the retirement age in France turned violent on Friday. Protesters took to the streets in Paris and other cities as they tried to pressure lawmakers to oust President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne used special powers on Thursday to block a vote in the lower house National Assembly on a bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, prompting lawmakers to table a vote of no confidence. Voting on the no-confidence motion will be held on Monday.
During the protest, some protesters climbed to a renovated site near the National Assembly, which was dispersed by police with tear gas. During this, the protesters burst fireworks and pelted stones at the police. Most of the protests took place in Paris and its surrounding cities. A protest march took place in Bordeaux, while a rally was held in Toulouse. Port authorities in Calais have imposed a temporary ban on ships crossing the English Channel to go to Dover. Some universities in Paris were closed and protesters blocked the heavily trafficked ring road around the capital.
In fact, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne to exercise special constitutional power. Following his order, Parliament was forced to approve without a vote the much-controversial bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The bill can be voted into Parliament or made into law through special powers of the President. In such a situation, amidst the apprehension of not getting a majority in the parliamentary vote, Macron decided to use his powers.
This decision was followed by a no-confidence motion, which would need to be passed by a majority in the lower house. If the no-confidence motion is passed, it will be the first no-confidence motion to be passed after 1962 and the government will have to resign. If the no-confidence motion is not passed, the Pension Bill will be deemed to have been passed.
The Senate, the upper house of the French Parliament, approved the retirement bill on Thursday. There were 193 votes in its favor, while 114 votes were cast against it. This was already being expected, as the Conservative Party, which supports the changes, has a majority in the Upper House. Macron is in favor of raising the retirement age. He has made pension changes one of the main priorities in his second term as President.
Macron wants to push through the pension reform bill as part of his vision to make the French economy more competitive. On the other hand, MPs on the left and right are opposing it, while Conservative MPs are divided over it.
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