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Macron angered France by pushing through a pension bill without a vote. But some people feel that they will be forced out

WorldAsiaMacron angered France by pushing through a pension bill without a vote. But some people feel that they will be forced out

Demonstrators take part in a demonstration against the French government’s plan to raise the legal retirement age in Paris on March 16, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A coalition of French lawmakers filed a vote of no confidence in President Emmanuel Macron on Friday after chaotic scenes in the country’s lower house of parliament the day before.

Despite last-minute negotiations and number-crunching, Macron calculated that he did not have enough votes in the National Assembly to pass it. controversial And since a long time plan to increase retirement age

He therefore resorted to a back-up plan, which was opposed by many – including those within his own party; to exercise a special constitutional power Strength It was passed without a parliamentary majority.

The measure, which means the national retirement age for most workers will rise from 62 to 64, was announced by Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, which was met with chants, jeers and boos from MPs.

The response was swift. The union CFDT called this a “true denial of democracy” and called on local unions to rally over the weekend and for a massive day of strike and protest action on 23 March.

About 7,000 people gathered to protest on the Place de la Concorde in Paris on Thursday evening, Reuters reported, where police used tear gas and charged protesters.

A coalition of left-wing MPs tabled the motion, which is being supported by left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Far-right Marine Le Pen has said her party, now led by Jordan Bardella, will vote for any no-confidence motion and is expected to file her own.

Members of Parliament on the left hold placards and sing the French national anthem as French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne arrives for a speech on a pension reform bill at the National Assembly on March 16, 2023 in Paris, France.

Pascal Rossignol | reuters

Macron, Born and his Renaissance party, formerly En Marche, hope to make it through the vote without a loss.

Julian Hoage, a political consultant who has worked with the Renaissance Party, says a motion of no confidence will struggle to get the necessary majority of 287 votes. It was joined by Mélenchon’s leftist La France Insomise, Le Pen’s National Rally, the green party Europe Ecology, and others opposed to Macron’s bill – potentially including members of the centre-right establishment party Les Républiques. Hoage said it would be tight, and it was possible that Bourne would step down.

The strength of sentiment against the deployment of the special constitutional measure should not be underestimated, he told CNBC by phone.

“Together Budget It was understandable and acceptable because you need a budget to keep the country running, it made it an easy pill to swallow,” Hoage said.

“Some important things need to be done differently for things to work. People think it’s undemocratic.”

A demonstrator sits atop a lamp post with a placard that reads “Macron at the service of Black Rock, Black Block at the service of the people” as demonstrators protest against the French government advancing his pension De la Concorde was set on fire. The bill through the Parliament of France without a vote after invoking Article 49.3 of the constitution on March 16, 2023 in Paris, France.

Kiran Ridley | Getty Images News | Getty Images

While Macron was re-elected in 2022, things do not look good for next year’s European elections, he said, and the renaissance at home will be increasingly pushed into a corner between left and right and it will lose its ability to pass to the other. scale.

Some opposition to raising the retirement age focuses on how it would have negative effects women, public sector employees and low-paid people who start work earlier.

For some on the left, government’s Argument Whether that change is needed to ensure the pension system’s longevity and reduce its 10 billion euro ($10.73 billion) annual deficit is a matter of priorities, especially given its policies such as those benefiting from tax breaks Is super rich And occupations,

The National Rally’s Marine Le Pen, whom Macron defeated for the top post in 2022, has also positioned herself against the reforms, which she calls an undue burden on the people – and some analysts say The measure may increase his popularity.

what if?

If the no-confidence motion is passed, the government will be forced to resign for the first time since 1962.

Macron could either appoint a new government with a new prime minister or dissolve parliament, triggering new elections.

Holger Schmiding, chief economist at German investment bank Berenberg, said French governments usually win votes of no confidence and he expected to do so this time, resulting in automatic pension reform.

If this does not happen, “new elections for parliament could go against the coalition of parties supporting Macron,” Schmieding said in a note.

“If so, he could turn into a lame duck for domestic policies for the remainder of his term until 2027.”

Schmiding said Macron has already weakened his position, and without a new parliament the majority is likely to be deeply divided.

However, he said, Bernberg’s analysts “remain optimistic that France may remain largely what it appears to be at the moment: the most dynamic of the major European economies.”

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct name for the leader of the National Rally Party.

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