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Anger Spreads In France Over Push For Macron’s Retirement Law

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Anger Spreads In France Over Push For Macron’s Retirement Law

As furious critics, political rivals, and labor groups around France criticize President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to force a Bill extending the retirement age from 62 to 64 through parliament without a vote, protesters have interrupted traffic in Paris.

Angry protester

Later on Friday, opposition parties are anticipated to begin the formalities for a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne-led administration.

The vote would probably happen early the following week.

On Thursday, Mr. Macron gave Ms. Borne the go-ahead to utilize a rare constitutional power to force the wildly unpopular pension Bill through the National Assembly, the lower chamber of France’s parliament, without a vote. His calculated risk infuriated unions, numerous individuals, and opposition parties.

On Thursday, tens of thousands of people came to demonstrate in front of the National Assembly building in the Place de la Concorde.

Police officers charged the protesters in waves as night fell to clear the area.

Afterward, small groups lit street fires as they went through the posh Champs-Elysees neighborhood.

Similar incidents reportedly occurred in multiple other cities, including Lyon and the southern port city of Marseille, as well as Rennes and Nantes in eastern France, where storefronts and bank fronts were reportedly broken.

310 persons were detained overnight, according to Gerald Darmanin, the French interior minister, who spoke to radio station RTL on Friday. According to Mr. Darmanin, Paris saw the majority of the arrests—258—made.

More gatherings and protest marches will take place in the coming days, according to the labor unions that organized strikes and marches against raising the retirement age.

They argued that the retirement change was harsh, unfair, and unjustified for the working world.

With France, like many richer nations, experiencing lower birth rates and longer life expectancies, Mr. Macron has made the proposed pension changes the top priority of his second term. He claims that reform is necessary to prevent the pension system from going into deficit.

A few minutes before a scheduled vote in the National Assembly, where the law had little assurance of winning a majority backing, Mr. Macron chose to use the exceptional power during a Cabinet meeting.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bill was approved by the Senate. A no-confidence vote, which needs to be approved by more than half of the Assembly, would be a first since 1962 and would force the administration to quit if the anticipated motion for confidence ended in one.

If Mr. Macron so chooses, Ms. Borne may be reappointed, and a new Cabinet would be established. The pension Bill will be deemed accepted if the motion is defeated.

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