Riots erupt in France over retirement age increase
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne of France invoked a special constitutional power to avoid having the lower assembly vote on the pension reform bill Thursday
Rioters took to the streets in France again Friday to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to raise the retirement pension age without going through the national assembly.
More than 300 people were arrested in the chaos as garbage was lit on fire, traffic was blocked and sanitation workers extended their 12-day strike.
The protests stemmed from Macron’s attempt to raise the age to receive a full pension following retirement in the country from 62 to 64 years old by invoking special constitutional powers that allow him to skirt the national assembly.
"We cannot bet on the future of our pensions and this reform is necessary," Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said to jeers and shots of "Resign!" in the assembly Thursday, according to the BBC. The bill had passed in the upper house but was not assured in the assembly.
OVER 1 MILLION FRENCH WORKERS STRIKE AGAINST EFFORTS TO RAISE RETIREMENT AGE
Lawmakers in the lower chamber have filed votes of no-confidence that are expected to be voted on next week. The bill will become a law if the no-confidence votes fail and will force Macron’s government to resign if the majority succeeds. It would also be the end of the bill. No no-confidence bill has passed since 1962.
However, Macron could reappoint Borne to name the new cabinet.
FRENCH PROTESTERS STAGE ANOTHER ROUND OF STRIKES AS COMMITTEE OF SENATORS, LAWMAKERS EXAMINE PENSION BILL
Borne has triggered the special constitutional power before but never with such blowback.
Macron’s government has argued that raising the pension age is necessary to keep the French economy competitive and to keep the pension program from going into a deficit.
At least 310 people were arrested, mostly in Paris, as police used water cannons to disperse thousands of demonstrators near the Place de la Concorde.
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"We are not going to stop," CGT union representative Régis Vieceli told The Associated Press on Friday. Arguing strikes and protests are "the only way that we will get them to back down."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.