The French government almost passed the vote of no confidence, facing more challenges


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People attend a rally to protest the French government’s use of article 49.3, a special provision in the French Constitution, to push a pension reform bill through Parliament without approval. vote of legislators, in Nantes, Fran


By Elizabeth Pineau and Layli Foroudi

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron’s government narrowly survived a vote of no confidence in parliament on Monday on unpopular pension reform, but strikes and protests will continue, a major challenge to his administration.

The defeat of a vote of no confidence would be a relief for Macron. If it succeeds, it would sink his government and kill the legislation that was designed to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.

But the relief may be short-lived.

First of all, unions and opposition parties have said they will step up the protests to try to force a turn back.

In addition, the vote on the three-party, no-confidence motion was closer than expected. Some 278 MPs backed it, just nine short of the 287 needed for it to succeed.

Opponents say this shows that Macron’s decision to skip a parliamentary vote on the pension bill – which has sparked movements of no-confidence – has undermined his reform agenda. and undermined his leadership.

Immediately after the defeat of the no-confidence vote was announced, lawmakers from the hardline left La France Insoumise (LFI, France Unbowed) shouted “Resign!” at Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and brandished placards that read: “We’ll meet on the street.”

“Nothing has been resolved, we will continue to do all we can to put this reform back,” LFI parliamentary group leader Mathilde Panot told reporters.

There were boos at a rally in central Paris following the vote results and chants of “strike” and “lockdown”.

A Reuters reporter saw police fire tear gas and briefly attack protesters before things calmed down.


In the southwestern city of Bordeaux, about 200-300 people, mostly young people, gathered to protest the reform and chanted: “Macron, resign!” Several trash cans were set on fire as the crowd chanted, “This is going to explode.”

Over the past three nights, clashes over pension reform, in Paris and across the country, have been reminiscent of the Yellow Vest protests that erupted in late 2018 over high fuel prices.

The ninth day of strikes and protests across the country is scheduled for Thursday.

“Nothing weakens the mobilization of workers,” the hard-line CGT union said after the vote, calling on workers to step up industrial action and “massively participate in mass protests.” strikes and mass demonstrations.”

Opposition parties will also challenge the bill in the Constitutional Council, which can decide to repeal some or all of the bill – if it deems it unconstitutional.

A second no-confidence motion, filed by the far-right National Rally Party (RN), also failed, after garnering only 94 votes. Other opposition parties said they would not vote for it.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Borne should go. She said Macron should call a referendum on reforms but is unlikely to do so. “He didn’t hear what the French people wanted,” she told reporters.

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