Protests in Paris as Macron forces through controversial pension reform

Protests in Paris as Macron forces through controversial pension reform

French President Emmanuel Macron shunned parliament on Thursday and invoked a special constitutional power to force through a controversial pension reform that raises the retirement age by two years to 64. The risky move sparked protests outside the National Assembly and is expected to trigger motions of no-confidence in his government.

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. It also gives the opposition the right to immediately call a confidence vote in parliament.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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