France: the mobilization against the pension reform loses feathers

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France: the mobilization against the pension reform loses feathers

A protester holds a poster that reads “Defend our pensions”, in Paris.

French people opposed to an unpopular pension reform wanted by Emmanuel Macron descended on Fewer people took to the streets on Saturday than in previous protests, with unions urging the president to “consult the people”.

This is the seventh day of mobilization since January 19 in France, against a backdrop of persistent strikes and blockades since Tuesday, and on the eve of a decisive week, where the government hopes to see this reform definitively adopted after a chaotic parliamentary course.

According to polls, the majority of French people are hostile to this pension reform and its postponement of the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, deeming it unfair, in particular for women and for employees in difficult jobs.

Protesters were much fewer on Saturday, often below the previous low of February 16, according to figures from authorities and unions.

The French Interior Ministry says a total of 368,000 people demonstrated in France on Saturday, including 48,000 in Paris.

According to the count by the Occurrence firm carried out for a media group, including Agence France-Presse (AFP), 33,000 people demonstrated in Paris.

Figures clearly in down from Tuesday, when 1.28 million people took to the streets in France, according to the Interior Ministry.

For its part, the CGT union estimates that more than a million people demonstrated on Saturday. This is the lowest figure put forward by the trade union center since the start of the social movement, lower than that of 1.3 million demonstrators on February 16.

La The previous day of action against the reform on Tuesday drew people in droves, and the number of people on the streets set a record, surpassing the peak of January 31, according to figures from the French ministry of government. ; Interior (1.28 million) and the intersyndicale (more than 3 million).

In the demonstration in Bordeaux, Gérard Chaluteaud, finishing operator in the metallurgy, 37, said he was more and more angry at not being heard […] They must listen to the street and that' x27; they let go a little. If it's voted, it's going to be a mess! We are going to leave on blockages.

Tensions took place on Saturday afternoon in the demonstration in Paris, with in particular many throwing of projectiles against the forces of order , burnt-out garbage cans and stoned windows.

Before the departure of the Paris procession, union leaders challenged Emmanuel Macron to call a referendum.

Since he is so sure of himself, the President of the Republic, he only has to consult the people. We will see the response of the people, launched the secretary general of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), Philippe Martinez. Without doubt we must go to a citizen consultation, abounded his counterpart of the reformist union of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), Laurent Berger.

The French government has chosen to raise the legal retirement age to respond to a financial deterioration of pension funds and the aging of the population.

France is one of the countries countries where the legal retirement age is the lowest, without the pension systems being completely comparable.

The French president plays an important part of his political credit on this flagship measure of his second five-year term, a symbol of his declared desire to reform, but which crystallizes the discontent of some of the French towards him.

< p class="e-p">On Friday, Mr Macron said the pension reform must go through in Parliament, hinting he was not ruling out anything, including the use of a pass without a vote through Article 49.3 of the Constitution (which allows the government to pass a legislative text without a vote by incurring its responsibility).

The Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, drew Friday the constitutional weapon (article 44.3 of the Constitution) of the single vote before the Senate, which will have to decide by a single vote on the entire bill, retaining only the amendments proposed or accepted by the government – ​​approximately 70 in number on the following articles under discussion.

Even without debate or vote on the remaining thousand amendments, these can however simply be presented by their authors. A way to save time and give hope to the left that the text will not be put to the vote before the deadline scheduled for Sunday at midnight.

The senators resumed their debates on Saturday and at midday, after more than two and a half hours of sitting, some 360 ​​amendments remained to be considered.

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