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News > France

The French Prepare National Strike Against Pension Reform

  • A firefighter tries to extinguish some garbage on fire in Paris, France, March 21, 2023.

    A firefighter tries to extinguish some garbage on fire in Paris, France, March 21, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @michaelcdeibert

Published 21 March 2023

Trade unions warned that there would be mass protests if President Macron approved this reform, which requires citizens 43 years of contributions to receive a full pension.

Ahead of a national mobilization planned for March 23, thousands of French citizens took again to the streets on Tuesday to reject President Emmanuel Macron’s approval of his pension reform bill by decree.


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“Several dozen demonstrators blocked the Perrache station and the entrance to Lyon city in the morning. After being dislodged by the Police, they blocked the passage of a train in such station,” the Tribune de Lyon reported.

In the Loire-Atlantique region, protesters also blocked Nantes city’s ring road at three points and in both directions. “No more vehicles circulate at La Chapelle gate. Demonstrators go back towards the Beaujoire gate,” the "Counter-Attack" stressed.

In Paris, people who rallied around the Opera Palace were intercepted by police officers, against which they threw garbage on fire. Nearly 234 protesters were arrested.

On March 16, Macron approved the pension system reform proposal by activating article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows him to pass a certain number of bills without waiting for support from the Parliament.

The LIOT and the National opposition parliamentary groups presented separate censure motions against this measure. Neither of these initiatives, however, got the 287 votes needed to be approved. The opposition may now turn to the Constitutional Council to prevent the bill from entering into force.

Unions warned that there would be mass protests if the Macron administration passed the pension reform bill, which seeks to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 years by 2030 and requires from 2027 to quote 43 years to receive a full pension.

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