France: Protest against pension reform: More than 140 arrests in Paris

France: Protest against pension reform: More than 140 arrests in Paris

Protest against pension reform: More than 140 arrests in Paris

A police officer arrests a protester in Paris.  Photo: Lewis Joly/AP

A police officer arrests a protester in Paris. photo

© Lewis Joly/AP

Macron’s controversial pension reform has been passed, but the topic is far from off the table. Many citizens are protesting – and the opposition does not want to admit defeat either.

Even after the controversial pension reform is passed France not to rest. According to media reports, 142 people were arrested in the capital Paris alone during the night. Eleven police officers were injured, the broadcaster BFMTV reported, citing police sources.

According to Franceinfo, there were also spontaneous demonstrations in other cities such as Saint-Étienne, Strasbourg, Amiens, Caen and Toulouse. president Emmanuel Macron wants to meet today with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and the majority leaders of the parliamentary groups, as the Élysée Palace announced in the evening.

Demands for resignation from right and left

alone in Paris around 2,000 police officers were on duty, BFMTV reported. Among other things, some demonstrators would have set garbage cans on fire and carried posters with inscriptions such as “We will also use violence”, “To arms” or “Macron’s resignation”. Politicians from both right and left have already called for Prime Minister Borne to resign.

The reform to gradually raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 years was passed last night after two motions of no confidence tabled by the opposition were rejected. It is considered one of President Macron’s most important projects. There have been repeated strikes and violent protests against the reform in France for weeks.

Last Thursday, the government made a last-minute decision to quash the reform with a special article in the constitution without a vote by the National Assembly. The opposition then submitted the no-confidence motions.

Referendum to prevent reform

It is expected that left and right-wing nationalists will appeal to the Constitutional Council today in the dispute over the reform. They could have the government’s actions checked there, which had shortened the debate time for the reform in Parliament by means of an accelerated procedure and incorporated the reform into a budget text. In addition, the left want to try to prevent the reform with a referendum.

Further strikes and protests against the reform are already planned for Thursday. Unions last night called for increased mobilization until the reform is rolled back, CGT said in an appeal.

Currently, the retirement age in France is 62 years. In fact, retirement begins later on average: those who have not paid in long enough to receive a full pension work longer. At the age of 67 there is then a pension without a deduction, regardless of the payment period – the government wants to keep this, even if the number of payment years required for a full pension is to increase more quickly.

She wants to increase the monthly minimum pension to around 1,200 euros. With the reform, the government wants to close an impending gap in the pension fund.


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