Clashes in Paris continue over raising the retirement age in France | France

Riot police and protesters clashed for a second night in Paris as a fresh demonstration took place against government plans to raise the French state retirement age.

The growing opposition to this policy, which has resulted in a wave of strikes since the beginning of the year and garbage piling up in the streets of the capital, has left President Emmanuel Macron with the most serious because of his authority since the beginning of the year. vests yellow(yellow vests) demonstrations of December 2018.

Reuters TV broadcast footage of tear gas being used by police to deal with crowd disorder as protesters gathered in Place de la Concorde, near the National Assembly parliament building.

“Macron, resign!” chanted some protesters, as they closed in on a line of riot police.

Friday night’s unrest followed similar unrest on Thursday, after Macron imposed the disputed pension overhaul without a parliamentary vote. The move raises the French state retirement age by two years to 64, which the government says is essential to ensure the system does not go bankrupt.

French MPs sing the Marseillaise and boo as PM forces pension overhaul – video

Unions and most voters disagree. The French are deeply attached to maintaining the legal retirement age at 62, one of the lowest in OECD countries.

More than eight in 10 people are unhappy with the government’s decision to circumvent a parliamentary vote, and 65% want strikes and protests to continue, according to a Toluna Harris Interactive poll for RTL radio.

Going forward without a vote “is a denial of democracy…a total denial of what has been happening on the streets for several weeks,” said Nathalie Alquier, a 52-year-old psychologist in Paris. “It’s just unbearable.”

A broad alliance of France’s main unions said it would continue its mobilization to try to force a U-turn on the changes. Demonstrations are planned for this weekend, with a national industrial day of action scheduled for Thursday.

Teachers’ unions have called for a strike next week, which could disrupt the iconic secondary baccalaureate exams.

While eight days of nationwide protests since mid-January and numerous other local strikes have been largely peaceful, the unrest on Thursday and Friday is reminiscent of the late 2018 Yellow Vest protests over high fuel prices, which forced Macron to a partial U. -activate a carbon tax.

Leftist and centrist opposition MPs tabled a no-confidence motion in parliament on Friday afternoon.

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But even if Macron lost his absolute majority in the lower house of parliament in last year’s elections, that was unlikely to materialize – unless a surprise alliance of lawmakers from all sides was formed. .

The leaders of the conservative Les Républicains party have ruled out such an alliance. None of them sponsored the first no-confidence motion tabled on Friday. The far right was to file another later in the day.

Individual LR lawmakers have said they could break ranks, but the no-confidence bill would need the support of all other opposition lawmakers and half of LR’s 61 lawmakers to pass.

Berenberg’s chief economist, Holger Schmieding, said: “So far, French governments have generally won such votes of no confidence.”

He said he expected the same this time even though “by trying to circumvent parliament, Macron has already weakened his position”.

Votes in parliament were to take place on weekends or Mondays.

theguardian Gt

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