French President Emmanuel Macron used special constitutional powers to pass a controversial pension bill through the National Assembly (the lower house) without a vote, a move likely to ignite protests on the streets of Paris.
The New York Times reported that Macron’s government used Article 49.3 of the Constitution to push through the pension reform bill without a parliamentary vote, highlighting the unpopularity of the proposed increase in retirement age by two years to 64.
AFP said there was chaos in the parliament and even outside after the government invoked 49.3:
Lawmakers were shouting, their voices shaking with emotion as Macron made the risky move, which is expected to trigger quick motions of no-confidence in his government. Riot police vans zoomed by outside the National Assembly, their sirens wailing.
Macron’s government has emphasized the need for pension reforms to ensure the sustainability of the pension system for the next ten years, as it is projected to have an annual deficit of 10 billion euros ($10.73 billion) from 2022 to 2032.
Strikes have been increasing since the start of the year in France to protest the reform. Last week, an estimated million people striked.
Protesters have started to assemble.
FRANCE – Macron has triggered Article 49.3
This adopts his pension reform plan WITHOUT a vote in the French National Assembly.
The people chant for him to resign, after weeks of violent protests. But no one is listening to the people anymore.
— Bernie’s Tweets (@BernieSpofforth) March 16, 2023
LIVE: Protests in Paris as France pushes through pension reform https://t.co/91It6KAmdl
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 16, 2023
Les manifestants affluent dans toutes les rues proche de l’assemblée nationale contre le 49.3 à Paris. #ReformedesRetraites #AssembleeNationale #DirectAN #manif16mars #greve16mars pic.twitter.com/aFf4fiBEb8
— Adrien AdcaZz (@AdrienAdcaZz) March 16, 2023
🔴 ALERTE – Des milliers de personnes se rendent sur la #Concorde contre le 49-3.
« ÇA VA PETER ! » pic.twitter.com/1ocPYIzJXD
— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) March 16, 2023
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