From our correspondent
Paris – Throwing tear gas and burning boxes. The first clashes are near the Assemblée Nationale Between the police and people who arrived to protest the lack of confidence in the government, only 9 votes. Spontaneous demonstrations also take place in Strasbourg, Lyon, Toulouse, Dijon and Lille. It was the result of the vote in Parliament that “saved” President Emmanuel Macron and thus his pension reform.
Indeed, the motion of censure against Elizabeth Bourne’s government gathered 278 votes: just nine missing to reach an absolute majority.According to Article 49.3 of the French Constitution, the government remains in office Parliament approved pension reform. It should go into effect on September 1, but in the coming weeks and months the opponents’ struggle to prevent it will intensify.
France is living a moment of serious political and social crisis, the debate in the National Assembly was marked by shouts and violent protests, after the announcement of the result at 7 pm, the first demonstrators immediately flocked to put Vauban in front of the Invalides Cathedral, for spontaneous assembly and prohibited by the prefecture, e Anger and mobilization are expected to increase in the coming hoursuntil after the day of strikes and marches already announced for Thursday, March 23.
A few minutes after the vote, spontaneous demonstrations multiplied. Dozens began gathering at Vauban’s place, near the National Assembly, chanting slogans such as “Macron resigns” and setting rubbish bins on fire. They did not miss Tensions with the policewho attacked protesters and threw smoke bombs in an attempt to disperse them. Groups of protesters also gathered at Saint-Lazare station, in the Opera district, where looting has been reported, and along Rue Reaumur, Rue Rivoli and Rue Montmartre. raised some Barricades Using barricades, garbage bags and materials stolen from road construction sites. throughout the evening The police arrested seventy people.
there The protest also spread to the main centers of the country, from Nantes to Toulouse, and from Rouen to Strasbourg. In Dijon, on the Place de la Republique, the crowd destroyed bus shelters and chanted Marseilles. In the capital and in Bordeaux, students occupied universities in protest.
The trade unions – united for once – and the opposition parties do not intend to give upencouraged also by the government’s very narrow margin of victory: the lost votes were expected to be 20 or 30, not 9. On the benches of Nupes, the coalition of the radical left, banners immediately appeared with the words On Continue and RIP, or Referendum of Popular Initiative.
Opponents organized A referendum to completely reject reform is considered unfair. According to reports from Le Figaro, the motion for popular consultation – signed by 250 deputies and senators and submitted to Assembly Speaker Yael Braun-Biveh – has been sent to the Constitutional Court, which now has one month to consider it.
Deputy François Ruffin, with the support of many colleagues, asked Macron not to pass the law, as President Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin did in 2006 with the CPE (First Employment Contract), after four months of violent popular protests.
The other path chosen by the opponents is to resort to the Constitutional Council, which will have to declare itself within a month and may refuse to repair in whole (a remote possibility) or in part. At least last night, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne remains in office, but considers herself a “fuse” and could be replaced by another figure, perhaps the current Home Secretary, Gerald Darmanin, in a deep reshuffle that seems inevitable.
In any case, President Macron will remain in the Elysee until 2027, but now he must find a way to appease popular protests and get out of a deep political crisis. Macron had hoped that the Republicans, the Gaullist right who are not part of the relative majority in government, would support a pension reform which would then be the first step towards a more orderly coalition in parliament until an absolute majority was achieved. This was not the case, only last week 61 Republican MPs did not vote for the reform – which is why the government decided to bypass Parliament by resorting to Article 49.3 – But tonight many of them voted on a motion to censure the government, one step away from approval.
Tomorrow morning has been arranged Summit at the Elysee Between Macron, Prime Minister Elisabeth Bourne and the leaders of the government coalition. Instead, in the evening the majority of parliamentarians will be received by the president.
(cooperation Joseph Scooteri)
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