Macron imposes reforms Emmanuel Macron

PARIS. – French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday decided to trigger Article 49.3 of the French constitution, which granted the government executive privilege to push through controversial pension reforms without a parliamentary vote. The move gives the opposition the right to immediately call a confidence vote and risks further inflaming the protest movement after months of demonstrations. 

The decision was made just a few minutes before the vote was scheduled at the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament.

The retirement age has now been raised by two years to 64 in a pension reform that is the flagship legislation of Macron’s second term. The unpopular plan has prompted major strikes and protests across the country since January. The move is expected to trigger a quick no-confidence motion in Macron’s government.

The announcement came hours after the Senate, France’s upper house, adopted the bill Thursday morning in a 193-114 vote, a tally that was largely expected since the conservative majority of the upper house of parliament favours a higher retirement age.

The decision runs the risk of further inflaming the protests and strikes that have rocked France over the last months. –

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