Protests intensify across France over Macron's decision on pension reform

Mar 19, 2023

Paris [France], March 19 : The ongoing protests in France have grown tense amid widespread anger among the protesters who have been opposing President Emmanuel Macron's decision on pension reform.
According to Al Jazeera, the protesters have time and again claimed that the government has raised the state pension age without a parliamentary vote, which has now become a cause of major concern over growing unrest in the country.
The agitators have taken to the streets of Paris to oppose the reform and multiple refinery strikes are also taking place across France.
The escalating unrest and the mounting trash piles on Paris' streets as a result of refuse workers joining in the action, have now put Macron in a tough state.
Notably, Macron pushed the unpopular pension reform scheme which proposed to raise the retirement age for most workers to 64 from 62 without a vote of lawmakers in the National Assembly on Thursday, defying mass protests throughout the country, The New York Times reported.
Macron's decision prompted raucous protests inside the assembly chamber, where opposition lawmakers sang the French national anthem and banged on their desks.
The upper house of Parliament, the Senate, approved the Bill on Thursday morning. But in the National Assembly, the lower and more powerful house, where Macron's party and its allies hold only a slim majority, did not have enough votes to pass the Bill.
Macron said France's pension system is in "an increasingly precarious state" because retirees are living longer and their numbers are growing faster than those of today's workers, whose payroll taxes finance the system. But his plan has angered a society that reveres retirement and a generous balance between work and leisure. In polls, roughly two-thirds of French people say they disapprove of the plan, as per The New York Times report.
After Macron proposed the pension reform scheme, many angry protesters lit small fires and clashed with police clad in riot gear at the Place de la Concorde in central Paris on Thursday.