The French Constitutional Council validated this Friday the delay of the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 years, the main measure of the pension reform promoted by the Government of Emmanuel Macron.
Furthermore, the organism rejected the request that the pension reform be submitted to a referendum, as announced in a statement. Instead, the Constitutional Council invalidated six articles of the law, especially two related to promoting the hiring of workers over 55 years of age in large companies.
The pension reform is one of the president’s star legislative projects Macronwho has always ruled out touching the most controversial aspects of the text alleging that it is a “necessary” law which brings France closer to the regulatory framework of other European countries.
France experienced this past Thursday the twelfth day of protests and strikes against this reform, in which hundreds of thousands of people once again took to the streets of the country’s main cities. The mobilizations date back to January and the unions have already warned that they will continue with them if there are no changes in some of the pillars of the law, such as the controversial increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
Some concentrations that this Friday have been produced again. Specifically, the Police have charged against thousands of protesters who have gathered in front of the Paris City Hall. The Parisian authorities have dispersed those gathered there with batons, a place where up to 10,000 people are expected to attend during the night, according to a police source reported to the BFMTV chain and collected by Europa Press.
In another part of the capital, another group has marched spontaneously towards the Plaza de la Bastille, where the Police have also been deployed. The same scenario is repeated in other French cities, such as in Nantes, Rennes or Lyonwhere minor altercations have occurred.
In an appearance with the other leaders of the parties that make up the leftist Nupes coalition (socialist, environmentalist, communist), Mathilde Panot, president of the parliamentary group of La Francia Insumisathe main opposition force, warned that the protests against the reform will continue and launched a new appeal to President Emmanuel Macron to withdraw the reform. “It will not be the Constitutional Council that changes the minds of the French people,” he reiterated.
The prime minister, Elisabeth Borne, pointed out that, in its decision, the Constitutional Council considers that “both in substance and in procedure”, the reform is in accordance with the Constitution. “The text reaches the end of its democratic process. Tonight there are neither winners nor losers,” Borne added on Twitter.
The French government has summoned the unions for next Tuesday for a meeting with Macron that they want to hold regardless of the decision adopted by the Constitutional Council. There was already a first meeting with the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, which ended without progress.
The decision of the Constitutional Council came after a tense day of waitingwith some 230 protest marches called by the unions throughout the country, including a rally in the town hall square in Paris.
The very headquarters of the Constitutional Council was armored since Thursday, with barriers and riot police, and the prohibition to organize concentrations in its vicinity.