France’s government survived a no-confidence vote and controversial pension reforms will go ahead

(CNN) Two no-confidence votes against French President Emmanuel Macron’s government have failed in the country’s parliament, paving the way for him. Hugely unpopular Pension Reforms New protests must be activated and incited in Paris.

The government last Thursday invoked special constitutional powers to pass a controversial law that would raise the retirement age for most workers from 62 to 64. Lawmakers who criticized the move called for a no-confidence vote on Monday.

The first motion was put forward by the “LIOT”, a small parliamentary group representing various smaller parties, and both were seen as potentially threatening to the government. It received 278 votes — nine short of the 287 majority needed to pass.

A second referendum — tabled last week by the far-right party National Rally — received less support, with only 94 lawmakers voting in favor.

President Macron’s government has faced two no-confidence votes over controversial pension reforms.

The government’s short survival will exacerbate the legitimacy crisis facing Prime Minister Elisabeth Bourne’s cabinet and Macron’s presidency.

“The prime minister must take his reform with him and resign,” Communist Party parliamentary leader Mathilde Panot said following the vote.

The opposition is now set to appeal to France’s Constitutional Council, the country’s highest constitutional body, to block part or all of the law. The council has up to one month to consider any objection to the law.

Meanwhile, public anger against the reforms shows no sign of abating, with protesters gathering in central Paris following the vote and clashing with police.

“No 49.3,” read a sign held by one protester.

France, which has the lowest retirement age in the industrialized world, spends more than other countries on pensions at nearly 14% of economic output, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation.

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The government argues that the current system — which relies on working people to pay for a growing age group — is no longer fit for purpose.

Over the weekend, protesters rallied spontaneously in several cities to denounce the reform and use Article 49.3 of the Constitution to force the bill through the National Assembly without a vote — which critics see as undemocratic.

According to the Interior Ministry, 169 people were detained in Saturday’s protests across France.

Also, workers from various sectors are engaged in trade union protest against this move.

Authorities in charge of civil aviation asked airlines to cancel 20% of flights on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Air France warned of flight cancellations in the coming days.

Oil refineries and storage facilities were also affected, with 39% of TotalEnergie workers on strike on Monday, according to a company statement, as more than 10,000 tonnes of garbage littered the streets of Paris as garbage collectors went on strike. weeks.

Unions have called for nationwide strikes and protests this Thursday.

Two weeks ago, street protests drew 1.28 million people across the country, according to the French interior ministry.

CNN’s Pierre Bairin and Christian Edwards contributed to this report.

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