Wednesday, March 22, 2023

France protests over pension reform over weekend – Usky News

France on Saturday gears up for a weekend of protests after a second night of unrest sparked by the president Emmanuel Macron Enacting an unpopular pension overhaul without a vote of Parliament.
Macron’s government on Thursday invoked a controversial executive power to force through the bill by decree, which is legal under France’s constitution.
The move has sparked outrage among France’s political class and protests clashing in the street, presenting the president with one of his biggest challenges less than a year into his second and final mandate.
According to parliamentary sources, opposition MPs have filed two no-confidence motions against the government for debate in Parliament on Monday afternoon.
He hopes to get enough support to collapse the cabinet and repeal the law to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Unions have called for smaller protests over the weekend ahead of a coordinated nationwide strike and rallies against the bill on Thursday next week.
On Friday evening, thousands rallied in front of Parliament for a second night to vent their frustration at the government’s imposition of its arbitrariness despite two months of nationwide strikes and demonstrations.
Police moved in to disperse the crowd in the night after the fire broke out place de la concordAFP reporters said.
Groups of people threw bottles and fireworks at security forces, who fired tear gas to try to clear the square. Police said they made 61 arrests.
Similar scenes unfolded in other parts of the country as well.
in eastern city LyonPolice said protesters tried to break into the town hall and set the building on fire. It detained 36 people.
Opinion polls have shown that almost two-thirds of French people oppose the reform, which would also require people to work longer for the full pension.
The government has said it is necessary to keep the system from running into losses, and bring France in line with its European neighbors where the legal retirement age is generally later in life.
But critics say the changes are unfair to people who start working at younger ages in physically demanding jobs, and to women who interrupt their careers to raise children.
Mass strikes and protests since mid-January have drawn some of the biggest crowds in decades, but popular agitation began to subside in the days before the government introduced the bill.
However, the capital’s municipal waste collectors have continued a rolling strike, leaving an estimated 10,000 tonnes of waste rotting in the streets, raising concerns from tourists and restaurant owners.
National train operator SNCF’s unions on Friday urged workers to continue with another ongoing strike, which has caused major disruption to the network.
In the energy sector, the CGT union has said strikers will stop production at two refineries by the end of this week or by Monday.
Macron put pension reform at the center of his re-election campaign last year.
But the 45-year-old former banker lost his parliamentary majority after elections in June National Assembly,
The government on Thursday invoked the controversial Article 49.3 of the Constitution as it feared it would not have enough support in the lower house to get a vote on the pension bill.
but the prime minister Elizabeth BourneThe cabinet is widely expected to survive any no-confidence vote.
The proposal would require support from about half the group of opposition right-wing Republicans, a scenario considered highly unlikely.


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