French Protests Intensify After Macron Bypasses National Assembly to Raise Retirement Age
Summary from the AllSides News Team
Ongoing French protests intensified after French President Emmanuel Macron decided to bypass a parliamentary vote and raise the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64.
For Context: Macron has said the proposal was necessary because of changing demographic factors, like increased life span. The French Senate had already approved the change on Thursday, but the National Assembly — where Macron’s party lacks a majority — was expected to reject it. Macron then decided to invoke Article 49.3 of the French Constitution, allowing him to push the law through without a vote. Met with heckling from legislators, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne defended the reform as “necessary.” Opposition leaders filed several requests for no-confidence votes against Macron’s government.
The Response: Ongoing protests intensified on Friday, with demonstrators and rioters blocking roads, setting fires, clashing with police, and even threatening Macron’s residence. Trash filled the streets as garbage collectors went on strike.
U.S. Parallels: Like France, the U.S. also faces concerns with keeping retirement plans financially afloat. President Joe Biden opposes raising the retirement age, and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has called for raising the retirement age only for people currently in their 20s. A bipartisan group of senators is also reportedly working on the issue.
How the Media Covered It: Outlets on the right tended to cover the story less frequently. Some coverage from the left called the French proposal “highly unpopular.” Instances of turmoil were attributed to “rioters” in some right-rated outlets and to “angry protesters” in some left-rated outlets.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftProtests erupt in France over Macron’s retirement age push
Angry protesters took over the streets in Paris on Friday, trying to pressure lawmakers to bring down French President Emmanuel Macron’s government and doom the unpopular retirement age increase he’s trying to impose without a vote in the National Assembly.
A day after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne invoked a special constitutional power to skirt a vote in the chaotic lower chamber, lawmakers on the right and left filed no-confidence motions that are expected to be voted on early next week.
Crowds gathered throughout the day Friday, halting cars along a Paris ring...
From the CenterFrance: Pension protests, no-confidence motions after decree
Fresh protests erupted in Paris on Friday evening, a day after President Emmanuel Macron and his government passed acontentious pension reform by decree, without a vote in the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly.
Several thousand demonstrators gathered in the capital's Place de la Concorde, close to the assembly building, and faced up to a line of riot police, with some chanting "Macron, Resign!"
Clashes between authorities and protesters erupted later in the evening. Reuters TV broadcast images of police using tear gas to deal with crowd disorder.
Earlier, traffic, garbage collection and university...
From the RightMacron Raises France’s Retirement Age as U.S. Politicians Debate Entitlements
As American politicians accuse one another of being the biggest threat to Social Security, several countries around the world are pondering whether to raise their retirement age to resolve future solvency concerns. Risking political backlash, President Emmanuel Macron has decided to raise the French retirement age from 62 to 64.
Macron was worried that France’s parliament would not approve the fiercely contested bill to do so and thus opted to push the legislation through Thursday without a full parliamentary vote. Other nations considering raising their retirement age include China and the United Kingdom....