Saturday 18 March 2023 - 09:54

Macron Enacts Pension Reform, Triggering Riots in Paris

Story Code : 1047330
Macron Enacts Pension Reform, Triggering Riots in Paris
The move, which had already caused months of strikes and protests, was announced by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in the National Assembly, as opposition lawmakers booed, jeered, and sang.

Macron invoked a special constitutional power to pass the bill before a vote was set to take place. Under the power, the bill is considered passed unless a majority of lawmakers file a motion of no confidence against the government in the next 24 hours. Right-wing leader Marine Le Pen said that her National Rally party would back such a motion, as did a number of leftist leaders.

Macron has argued that France's pension system will go bankrupt unless citizens pump more money into the system, and raising the retirement age would be a "just and responsible" way to achieve this. However, France's trade unions, who have protested the reforms since last year, have argued that the system should instead be buoyed by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Paris as Macron's bill was passed. Near parliament buildings, police fired tear gas at the demonstrators and faced off against the crowd in lines. Rioters set fires and blocked roads throughout the French capital, as groups of masked protesters clashed with riot police.

Prior to the bill's passage, almost half a million people protested in cities across France on Wednesday, according to figures from the Interior Ministry. Police have already made 73 arrests in the capital, Le Figaro reported, citing a police source.