No-confidence vote in the Macron administration over the pensions dispute

March 17, 2023



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French President Emmanuel Macron's government faced no-confidence motions in parliament and intensified protests after imposing a contentious pension reform without a vote in the lower house. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne invoked article 49.3 of the constitution to impose the pension overhaul by decree, sparking angry demonstrations nationwide. French opposition lawmakers on Friday filed a motion of no-confidence in the government, hoping to repeal the deeply unpopular law to hike the retirement age from 62 to 64. The far-right National Rally (RN) filed a second motion, but that was expected to get less backing. Macron's cabinet is largely expected to survive any vote, thanks to backing from the opposition right-wing Republicans.

Unions have called for another day of mass strikes and protests for next Thursday, branding the government's move "a complete denial of democracy". Opposition lawmakers jeered and booed as Borne invoked the controversial article 49.3 to ram through the pensions law on Thursday. The move amounted to an admission the cabinet lacked a majority in the lower house to make the changes.RN figurehead Marine Le Pen, who leads its MPs in parliament, has described Thursday's cabinet move as "a total failure for the government". Jean-Luc Melenchon of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) party earlier on Friday called for "spontaneous rallies across the country".Trains, schools, public services, and ports have been affected by strikes against the proposed reform, and a rolling strike by municipal garbage collectors in Paris has caused 10,000 tonnes of trash to pile up in the streets.Thousands of protesters massed opposite the parliament on Thursday evening, and police used tear gas to clear protesters after a fire was lit in the center of the historic Place de la Concorde. 310 people were arrested around the country, including 258 in Paris, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.According to polls, two-thirds of French people oppose the pension overhaul, and the head of the CGT union warned this week that Macron risked "giving the keys" of the presidency to Le Pen in 2027.




Unions have called for another day of mass strikes and protests for next Thursday, branding the government's move "a complete denial of democracy". Opposition lawmakers jeered and booed as Borne invoked the controversial article 49.3 to ram through the pensions law on Thursday. The move amounted to an admission the cabinet lacked a majority in the lower house to make the changes.RN figurehead Marine Le Pen, who leads its MPs in parliament, has described Thursday's cabinet move as "a total failure for the government". Jean-Luc Melenchon of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) party earlier on Friday called for "spontaneous rallies across the country".Trains, schools, public services, and ports have been affected by strikes against the proposed reform, and a rolling strike by municipal garbage collectors in Paris has caused 10,000 tonnes of trash to pile up in the streets.Thousands of protesters massed opposite the parliament on Thursday evening, and police used tear gas to clear protesters after a fire was lit in the center of the historic Place de la Concorde. 310 people were arrested around the country, including 258 in Paris, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.According to polls, two-thirds of French people oppose the pension overhaul, and the head of the CGT union warned this week that Macron risked "giving the keys" of the presidency to Le Pen in 2027.

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