Viva La France – Les Miserable…
Could we soon see something like this in America?
It's all kicking off in France over Macron's pension reforms.— WOLSNED 🇬🇧 (@wolsned) March 16, 2023
The French like a strike, a protest, a revolution or two…pic.twitter.com/dk6ZTQp490
Associated Press reports, click on article to pull up video within article.
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron ordered his prime minister to wield a special constitutional power Thursday that skirts parliament to force through a highly unpopular bill raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote.
His calculated risk set off a clamor among lawmakers, who began singing the national anthem even before Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne arrived in the lower chamber. She spoke forcefully over their shouts, acknowledging that Macron’s unilateral move will trigger quick motions of no-confidence in his government.
The fury of opposition lawmakers echoed the anger of citizens and workers’ unions. Thousands gathered at the Place de la Concorde facing the National Assembly, lighting a bonfire. As night fell, police charged the demonstrators in waves to clear the elegant Place. Small groups of those chased away moved through nearby streets in the chic neighborhood setting street fires. At least 120 were detained, police said.
Similar scenes repeated themselves in numerous other cities, from Rennes and Nantes in the east to Lyon and the southern port city of Marseille, where shop windows and bank fronts were smashed, according to French media. Radical leftist groups were blamed for at least some of the destruction.
The unions that have organized strikes and marches since January, leaving Paris reeking in piles of garbage, announced new rallies and protest marches in the days ahead. “This retirement reform is brutal, unjust, unjustified for the world of workers,” they declared.
Macron has made the proposed pension changes the key priority of his second term, arguing that reform is needed to keep the pension system from diving into deficit as France, like many richer nations, faces lower birth rates and longer life expectancy.
Macron decided to invoke the special power during a Cabinet meeting at the Elysee presidential palace, just a few minutes before the scheduled vote in France’s lower house of parliament, because he had no guarantee of a majority.
France’s standoff over President Emmanuel Macron's bill that seeks to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 heads toward a climax on Thursday, either through a parliamentary vote or a special constitutional power to force it through the legislature. https://t.co/WNDAQXtRmF— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) March 16, 2023
“What did I say? Paris will burn over Macron’s EO cutting their retirement pensions, so illegals can have 3 meals a day, a 4 star hotel, a phone, and spending money.”
Paris right now 👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/YDRaLswRw0
— Dane (@UltraDane) March 17, 2023