Protesters Take To The Streets Of Marseille As Demonstrations Continue Over French President Emmanuel Macron's Controversial Pension Reform Bill, Which Hikes The Retirement Age From 62 to 64.
09:07 AM WAT, Fri March 17, 2023
French President Emmanuel Macron, on Friday, has faced intensified protests and accusations of anti-democratic behaviour after pushing through a contentious pension reform without a parliamentary vote.
Using a special constitutional power to pass legislation without a vote amounted to an admission that the government lacked a majority to hike the retirement age from 62 to 64, which has met strong resistance across the country.
The Senate had adopted the bill earlier, but reluctance by right-wing opposition in the National Assembly to be on the same page with Macron, lead to the defeat in the lower house.
Trains, schools, public services and ports have since January been affected by strikes against the proposed reform, amid some of the biggest protests in decades.
Meanwhile, the strike action by municipal garbage collectors in Paris has caused about 7 thousand tonnes of trash to pile up in the streets, attracting rats and dismaying tourists.
Trade unions and political analysts had warned that adopting the legislation without a vote, by invoking article 49.3 of the constitution, which risked radicalising opponents and would undercut the law's democratic legitimacy.