French President Emmanuel Macron pushes pension reform without vote

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government pushed controversial pension reforms into parliament on Thursday without voting.

The move to exercise a special constitutional power that allows the government to pass laws without a vote has led the government to admit that it lacks a majority to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The Senate adopted the bill on Thursday, but the government faced defeat in the House of Commons after right-wing opposition members of the National Assembly hesitated to side with Macron.

“We cannot risk seeing 175 hours of parliamentary debate go to waste,” Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne told parliamentarians amid jeering and booing from opposition MPs who sang the national anthem.

Trade unions and political analysts say adopting the bill without a vote, by invoking article 49(3) of the constitution, endangers radical opponents and undermines the democratic legitimacy of the law. I warned you that I would let you.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen told reporters, “It’s a complete failure of the government. “From the beginning, they tricked you into thinking you had a majority.”

Opinion polls show that two-thirds of French people oppose pension reforms.

“If the president does not have a majority in the country and does not have a majority in parliament, the bill must be withdrawn,” said Socialist Party leader Olivier Fauré.

Several opposition parties, including Le Pen, are due to hold a vote of no confidence in the centrist government on Friday, but Born’s cabinet is expected to survive thanks to support from the right-wing Republican Party.

Unions quickly called the government’s move a “total denial of democracy” and called for another day of mass strikes and protests next Thursday.

– “tricked”-

A crowd of thousands gathered in front of the Reichstag building on the historic Place de la Concorde in central Paris, watched by riot police.

“I am outraged by what is happening. I feel like I am being duped as a citizen,” said Laure Cartelier, a 55-year-old schoolteacher who came to express her outrage. “In a democracy, it should have happened through voting.”

At around 8pm (1900G), police used tear gas and water cannons to clear the protesters after a fire was lit near the Egyptian obelisk, which has stood in the center of the square for nearly 200 years.

Several shops were also looted during the protests in the southern city of Marseille.

Antoine Bristielle, a public opinion expert at the Fondation Jean-Jaures think tank, told AFP that enacting such a crucial law without a parliamentary vote risks further antagonizing the country and deepening anti-Macron sentiment. said there is

“It will drive the protests even further, which could lead to more pressure on the government,” he said.

He said polls showed that about eight in 10 people would oppose such legislation, indicating that more and more people are losing faith in French democracy.

After unsuccessfully trying to push for pension reform during his first term, Mr Macron returned to the issue while campaigning for re-election last April.

He defeated Le Pen with a pro-business platform that promised to lower unemployment and make the French “work more” to fund the country’s generous social security system.

However, he lost his majority in parliament after the June National Assembly elections.

– A pile of garbage –

Railroads, schools, public services and ports have been hit by strikes since January in the biggest protests in decades.

An estimated 1.28 million people took to the streets on March 7th.

Routine strikes by municipal garbage collectors in Paris have left some 7,000 tons of uncollected garbage piled up in the streets, attracting rats and embarrassing tourists.

The government argues that raising the retirement age, abolishing privileges for some public sector workers, and tightening standards for full pensions are necessary to prevent large deficits from accumulating.

Trade unions and other critics say the reform will disadvantage low-income, manual workers who tend to start their careers early, forcing them to work longer than new graduates who are less susceptible to change. It says it will.

The political ramifications of pushing through reforms opposed by a large portion of the population are uncertain.

CGT union president Philippe Martinez warned this week that President Macron was risking “giving the keys to Le Pen” for the presidency in the next elections in 2027.


French President Emmanuel Macron pushes pension reform without vote

Source link French President Emmanuel Macron pushes pension reform without vote

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