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The pension reform law was officially passed in France

The reform of France’s unpopular pension system and its main measure of lowering the retirement age to 64 were announced on Saturday morning in the Official Gazette, after most of the text was approved by the Constitutional Council.

And after the Constitutional Council’s decision, on Friday, the unions “officially” asked French President Emmanuel Macron not to “issue the law.” A request that remained a dead letter: In issuing the text, Mr. Macron opposed ending inadmissibility.

The French president had fifteen days after most reform measures were approved by the Constitutional Council to sign his signature and thus give them enforceability.

Thus the Social Security Act was amended […] In the first paragraph, the word “sixty-two” was replaced by the word: “sixty-four”, as it was stated in the text.

The Constitutional Council on Friday approved the basics of pension reform and blocked the first request for a referendum on the joint initiative from the left, which had hoped to start collecting 4.8 million signatures for an unprecedented consultation of the French.

“There is no winner or loser,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne asserted, referring to the “end of the institutional and democratic journey” of the text adopted in the assembly after the use of Article 49.3, a controversial article in the French constitution. To pass the bill without a vote.

Boos, panic, anger

The decision was met with boos, consternation, or outrage at rallies across France, which sometimes led to wild demonstrations punctuated by a debacle.

“Some say the mobilization is weakening, and I think it’s becoming more extreme,” said Raji Al-Tashraji, 24, of the Solidere Syndicate.

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In Paris, several hundred people gathered in wild processions. In the evening, Paris police prefect Laurent Nunez confirmed the arrest of “a few dozen people” and “the release of thirty bins”.

In Rennes, in western France, the door of a police station was briefly set on fire, while in Marseille, in the south, rail traffic was suspended due to the presence of protesters on the tracks.

In Paris, the Constitutional Council, holed up behind riot barricades, was under guard. Any demonstration near its headquarters in a wing of the royal palace is prohibited until Saturday morning. Neighborhood Comedie Francaise canceled its shows on Friday.

In a meeting held in the evening, the trade union stressed that the control exercised by the council over six articles of the law (particularly with regard to the employment of the elderly) made this text “already unfair” and “unbalanced”.

The meeting proposed by Emmanuel Macron to the unions must wait for Tuesday: the union does not intend to go to the Elysee before May 1st, a traditional social meeting that it would like to turn into a “day of exceptional and popular mobilization”.

“The struggle continues”

For his part, the head of the traditional right-wing LR party, Eric Ciotti, called on “all political forces” to “accept” the decision of the Constitutional Council.

“The struggle continues,” said the president of the radical left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, while the leader of the far right, Marine Le Pen, considered that “the political fate of reforming the pension system has not been decided.”

Hundreds of dissenters, gathered in the forecourt of the Hôtel de ville in Paris, greeted this decision with boos.

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“We will continue, of course, we will amplify the demonstrations, with or without the union. Time will play for us.” John Barlow, 37, confirmed that Macron would have to back down.

The conflict, which has rocked the country since mid-January, ran out of steam during the last days of work, particularly during Thursday the 12th. But the anger remains strong, even if the CEO hopes, with this decision, to resume the march of this second term of Mr. Macron’s five-year term, which has been seriously hampered.

France is one of the European countries with the lowest retirement age, but with very different systems.

The executive authority justifies its project by the need to respond to the financial deterioration of pension funds and the aging of the population, but opponents see it as “unfair”, especially for women and employees in difficult jobs.

Let’s see in the video