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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Demonstrators Set Rubbish Piles on Fire as Macron’s Govt Narrowly Survives No-confidence Vote

The vote on the tripartite motion of no confidence was closer than anticipated

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

FRANCE. Paris: Demonstrators set piles of trash on fire in central Paris on Monday after President Emmanuel Macron’s administration barely survived a no-confidence vote in parliament over a wildly unpopular pension reform.

For Macron, the no-confidence votes’ failure will be a relief. If it had been successful, it would have brought down his government and prevented the law from passing that would have raised the retirement age to 64 by two years.

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As protesters and cops played cat-and-mouse in some of Paris’ most prestigious avenues, firefighters rushed to put out burning trash piles that had been left uncollected for days due to strikes.

Early Thursday, a reporter witnessed police use tear gas and briefly charge at demonstrators after the no-confrontation motion narrowly failed to receive enough votes to pass.

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Opposition parties and unions said that they would intensify demonstrations in an effort to compel a u-turn.

The vote on the tripartite motion of no confidence was closer than anticipated. It received support from 278 MPs, falling just nine votes shy of the necessary 287 votes to pass.

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Opponents say that this displays how Macron’s decision to forgo a parliamentary vote on the pension bill, which sparked the motions of no confidence, has already weakened his reformist agenda and his ability to lead.

The hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI, France Unbowed) party’s lawmakers yelled “Resign!” at Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and waved signs that said “We’ll meet in the streets” as soon as it was revealed that the no-confidence motion had failed.

LFI parliamentary group chief Mathilde Panot told journalists, “Nothing is solved; we’ll continue to do all we can so this reform is pulled back.”

In Bordeaux, a city in the southwest, 200 to 300 people, mostly young people, gathered to protest the change and yelled, “Macron, resign!” As the audience chanted, “This will blow up,” a few trash cans were set on fire.

Conflicts over the pension reform have occurred in Paris and across the nation over the past three nights, and they have echoes of the Yellow Vest demonstrations that broke out in late 2018 over high gasoline prices.

A ninth nationwide day of demonstrations and strikes is scheduled for Thursday.

After the vote, the hardline CGT union proclaimed that “nothing undermines the mobilization of workers” and urged workers to intensify industrial action by “participating massively in rolling strikes and demonstrations.”

The bill will also face challenges from opposition parties in the constitutional council, which could decide to invalidate all or parts of it if it finds that they violate the constitution.

The far-right National Rally’s (RN) second resolution of no confidence, which received only 94 votes, was also defeated. The other opposition parties said they would not vote for it.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far right, said that Borne should go. She said that Macron should hold a referendum on the reform but was not likely to do so. “He’s deaf to what the French people want,” she told journalists.

Also Read: PM Rishi Sunak and President Emmanuel Macron Meet for Discussing Constructive Co-operation 


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