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French government survives two motions of no confidence over pension reforms

After approving plans to increase the country’s retirement age, two motions of no-confidence were filed against the French government.

Violent protests erupted on Friday, after President Emmanuel Macron’s administration bypassed lower house with unpopular proposals to increase the retirement age by 2 years to 64.

Both centrist MPs as well as those representing the far-right National Rally both submitted motions of no confidence to the government.

The vote of the centrist group was the first at the National Assembly. 278 MPs voted in favor, which is higher than expected, but still short of the 287 required to pass the motion.


MPs from La France Insoumise, a hard-left party (LFI, France Unbowed), shouted “resign!” After the first vote, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne was confronted by MPs from the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI, France Unbowed) who held placards reading: “We’ll be meeting in the streets.”

Mathilde Panot, a hard-left MP, stated that only nine votes were needed to bring down the government and reform.

“The French have already declared that the government is dead and it does not have any legitimacy.”

Only 94 votes were in favor of the far-right no confidence motion. Other opposition parties had stated previously that they would not support it.

This comes after protesters clashed on Friday with police in Paris. officers made dozens of arrests during unrest at Place de la Concorde

Image: During a Friday protest in Paris, demonstrators roll a wooden cable spool towards a burning barricade. Pic by AP

In recent days, demonstrations also took place in other French cities like Bordeaux, Toulon, and Strasbourg.

Protesters gathered on Monday near Rennes to protest against the lack of confidence votes. They clashed with police and set up barricades of fire to stop traffic.

Many hundreds of mostly young protestors gathered at Paris’s Les Invalides to protest the reforms.

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France: Police spray protesters

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Paris: Police clash with protesters

What is France’s retirement age compared to other countries?

Christine Lassalle, member of FO, France’s largest union, spoke out about the protests. She said that the real violence isn’t in the streets, but in the reform.

Despite Mr Macron’s government successfully navigating the two no confidence votes in his government, trade unions have pledged to increase their strike action against the plans.

This leaves the French president with the greatest threat to his authority since the “Yellow Vest uprising” over four years ago.

On Thursday, a ninth national day of strikes or protests will be held.

The Constitutional Council could also challenge the bill by opposition parties, and it may decide to strike it down if it believes it violates the constitution.


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