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Over 500 arrested in France amid protests against pension reform

20 Mar 2023 - 16:22

Police in France have arrested more than 500 people across the country during protests over the government imposing a pension reform without a parliamentary vote.

Protests and clashes erupted in various parts of France on March 16, after the government used its special constitutional powers to force through pensions reform without a vote in the lower house.
The new legislation would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030.
Despite a ban on protests on a Paris square opposite parliament, protesters on Saturday gathered there and around the Champs Elysees avenue.
More than 500 protesters were arrested and 283 of them have been released, according to local media reports.
Meanwhile, protesters allegedly attacked The Republicans party's head Eric Ciotti's office in the city of Nice and shattered its windows.
Sharing a photo from his office with shattered windows, Ciotti said that this attack aims to pressure him to vote in favor of no-confidence motions against the government.
Previously, Ciotti had announced that his political group would not vote for no-confidence motions against the government over the pension reform.
Earlier on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron decided to use Article 49.3 of the Constitution to adopt the controversial draft bill without a parliamentary vote.
After it was passed by the Senate, the final version of the draft bill was supposed to be taken up for parliamentary approval.
However, Macron held consultations with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, other ministers and heads of parliamentary groups of political parties to decide whether to use special constitutional powers to bypass the parliamentary process, Le Figaro reported.
Borne then headed to parliament to give a speech and invoke Article 49.3.
The move sparked fierce criticism, including from opposition lawmakers who have filed two motions of no-confidence against the government to be debated in parliament on Monday afternoon, according to France 24.

Story Code: 587637

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Taghribnews (TNA)