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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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France: Protests Continue Over Pension Reform As Macron’s Government Survives No-confidence Vote

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The French government barely got through a vote of no confidence after it pushed through an increase in the pension age to 64. It sparked fresh anti-government demonstrations in Paris, where 101 people were detained following confrontations with law enforcement.

278 votes were cast in favor of the pension reform vote, which centrist MPs proposed, less than the required 287 votes.

President Emmanuel Macron would have had to form a new government or hold fresh elections if it had been effective.

The far-right National Rally party’s second no-confidence vote was also unsuccessful.

The contentious bill to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 will now become law as a result of the failure of both the votes against it.

The votes were conducted after the bill was passed last week without voting, due to Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne’s use of a unique constitutional provision known as Article 49:3.

It prompted irate demonstrations over the weekend, with some protesters engaging in physical altercations with law enforcement and blocking streets in central Paris and other cities across the nation with burning debris.

Following the unsuccessful votes on Monday, there were new demonstrations in the capital, which resulted in a tense standoff between demonstrators and anti-riot police.

The only motion with a chance of passing was the first one, which was supported by a number of left-leaning groups, including the Green Party and the Socialist Party.

Members of the left-wing group who supported that vote shouted for the prime minister to step down as they held signs that said “continue” and “we’ll meet in the streets” after the vote failed.

The leader of the hard-left La France Insoumise parliamentary group, Mathilde Panot, said that nothing had been resolved and that her party would keep up its efforts to have this change rolled back.

The government had “never gone so far,” according to the prime minister, to reach an agreement to pass the legislation.

France’s aging population, according to Macron, renders the country’s current pension system unaffordable. But not everyone in the legislature agrees with that viewpoint.

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