Status: 03/17/2023 10:10 PM
Once again, many French people demonstrated on the Place de la Concorde in Paris against the planned pension reform. They called for President Macron’s resignation. Police used tear gas after the clashes.
Clashes took place in the evening between opponents of pension reform and police officers in Paris. Police used tear gas against protesters who had gathered in the Place de la Concorde, near the Parliament building, and threw cobblestones and firecrackers at police officers. Things were also set on fire.
Some demonstrators chanted “Macron, resign!” They are facing a line of police officers. The clashes followed similar protests on Thursday after President Emmanuel Macron decided to pass controversial pension reforms without a parliamentary vote.
There were also protests in other cities, such as Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg.
Motions of no confidence after controversial approval of pension reform in France
Sabine Rao, ARD Paris, Daily News at 4:00 PM, March 17, 2023
Unions want to continue mobilizing
The French insist on maintaining the official retirement age of 62, which is among the lowest in OECD countries. According to a survey, more than eight out of ten French people are unhappy with Macron’s decision to increase the retirement age without a parliamentary vote.
A broad coalition of France’s main unions said it would continue to mobilize to force a rollback of the changes.
Protests are planned for this weekend – and a new nationwide strike day is scheduled for Thursday. Teachers’ unions have called for strikes over the next week that could disrupt symbolic secondary school exams.
Requests of no confidence in the government
Two motions of no-confidence have been submitted against the government in the dispute over pension reform. According to its leader, Bertrand Puncher, the proposal of Lleut’s liberal faction was also signed by deputies from the left-wing Nobis coalition. The right-wing National Rally, headed by Marine Le Pen, also filed a motion of no-confidence. It is expected to be voted on on Monday.
For a motion of no confidence to succeed, it needs an absolute majority of members of parliament. In this case, the reform will be rejected and the government will have to resign. President Macron could then appoint a new prime minister or call new elections. However, success is considered unlikely. If a motion of no confidence does not obtain the required majority, the reform is passed.