France’s Senate passes controversial reform to pension system
France's Senate passed a controversial reform to the country's pension system by 195 votes to 112 late Saturday night.
It means the government's package to raise the pension age from 62 to 64 is another step towards becoming law.
Gérard Larcher, the French Senate president, announced: "We have reached the end of this very dense debate in which everyone has spoken. Since Thursday, March 2, we have sat continuously for ten days and almost as many nights for a total of more than 100 hours of debate. We have registered a record number of amendments and sub-amendments: 8,900 in total."
French Senators had already voted on Thursday in favour of a decisive article of the bill.
The text must now be agreed upon during a joint committee on Wednesday 15 March. If deputies and senators approve the text, it will have to be validated on Thursday 16 first in the Senate and then in the National Assembly.
This last vote, if positive, will be considered as final adoption by the Parliament.
Saturday's vote came hours after hundreds of thousands of people marched in protest in rallies across the country, although in significantly fewer numbers than expected.
These protests, now in their seventh consecutive day, have also severely disrupted public transport routes as various unions called for rolling stoppages in certain sectors to keep pressure on the senate to revise the reform and on President Emmanuel Macron to change his plans.