At least 200 people have been arrested tonight in Paris for the unrest produced after a spontaneous demonstration against the unpopular pension reform of the Government of Emmanuel Macron, approved by decree hours before and without the vote of the deputies of the National Assembly, and which increases the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
This Thursday thousands of people gathered in the symbolic Parisian Place de la Concorde with the slogan of “blockade the country” and overthrow the Macron government. After its completion, hundreds of people they burned containers, vandalized cars, set up barricades and they clashed with the security forces, who had to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters. According to the latest data, there 217 detainees.
The security forces had to intervene to evict the Concordia, but the tensions moved to other areas close to the French capital, such as the Champs-Élysées.
Protests after the pension reform of @EmmanuelMacron.
Approximately 120 people arrested. pic.twitter.com/mW62ZHahwq
– Mr. Rabbit (@JCarlos_Arroyo) March 17, 2023
The main unions in France have announced a large day of demonstrations for next Thursday, March 23 to demand the total withdrawal of the reform, while the opposition -both the ultra-right of Marine Le Pen and the left- will present in the next few hours several motions of no confidence against Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne. According to the latest surveys, eight out of 10 French people oppose the reform.
[Filibusterismo, moción de censura y otras claves de la polémica reforma de la jubilación en Francia]
Motion of censure
The protests erupted after Macron decided to use the article 49.3 of the Constitution to avoid submitting the pension reform to a vote in the French National Assembly, after verifying that the government did not have a sufficient majority to carry out one of the star projects of the French president. Everything indicates that this decision will cost Borne his job.
It was precisely she who faced the bad taste of announcing before the plenary session of the National Assembly the Government’s recourse to article 49.3 of the Constitution and that it was agreed after a brief extraordinary Council of Ministers.
🇫🇷 Paris#France enters Insurrection and about to #Civil war after a decision of #Macron to activate article 49.3 to adopt his pension reform plan without the need for a vote in the French National Assembly.#lasttimes #Apocalypse #mateo24 pic.twitter.com/acNROJMlRO
— 𝔸𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕝 𝔻𝕖 𝕃𝕒 ℂ𝕣𝕦𝕫 ✝️🇨🇱 (@AngelDLaCruz_) March 17, 2023
“You cannot run the risk of playing with the future of pensions, this reform is necessary“, said Borne between shouts and boos from the opposition, before assuring that his government makes this decision “out of responsibility”.
Borne had to speak between some mockery and the repeated songs of La Marseillaise of the left-wing deputies, who also chanted “resignation, resignation” to the prime minister, a brief but stormy intervention.
Despite her, the prime minister hinted last night in a television interview that she does not intend to resign and entrusted her future as head of the Executive to the result of those motions of censure.
❗️Protest in Paris against the approval of the pension reform without the vote of Parliament
Live: https://t.co/sNveTLnwQm pic.twitter.com/TRgtPU4TtH
– CMN NEWS MEXICO INTERNATIONAL (@mrazquin2) March 17, 2023
What does Macron’s reform say?
The justification for the reform given from the beginning by the Macron government is to guarantee the financial balance on the horizon of 2030, given the potential deficit in the coming years due to the aging of the population, which means a greater number of retirees and fewer contributors.
The Pension Orientation Council (COR, an official advisory body) calculates that now and until the horizon of 2027-2028, the deficit of this regime will be between 9,000 and 11,000 million euros per yeara number that will rise to 16,000 by 2032. In relative terms, that will mean a hole of between five and eight tenths of the gross domestic product (GDP).
To compensate for this deficit, the main measure consists of progressively delaying the minimum retirement age by two years until 2030, from the current 62 to 64.
In parallel, it will accelerate the increase from 42 to 43 years of the contribution period necessary to collect a full pension, an increase that was foreseen in the previous reform, during the mandate of the socialist president François Hollande (2012-2017): it will be applied in 2027 and not in 2035.
What will not change with the law adopted today by Parliament is the maximum age of 67 to be entitled to a full pension if the full contribution period has not been covered.