French president Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government survived two no-confidence votes on Wednesday, allowing it to force a reform of the retirement system through the lower house of parliament.
People took to the streets of many cities across France on Tuesday to reject the pension changes. Last week, the country’s PM Edouard Philippe’s decided to use a special constitutional power to push the bill through the Assembly without a vote.
In response, opposition lawmakers from the left and from the right called two no-confidence votes Tuesday against Macron’s government.
The new scheme implies introduction of a €1,000 minimum monthly pension for those who have worked a full career; mandatory minimum retirement age of 62; and bonus system to encourage people to work till the age of 64.
Under the new rules, the worker will receive a lower pension if they were self-employed for a while, or had health issues that prevented them from working for some period.
Workers’ unions fear that the reform will oblige people to work longer for less money. Currently the eligibility age for a full pension is 62.
Lawmakers in the National Assembly accused Macron of “dictatorial” behavior in a debate that lasted past midnight.
The announcement of the reform led to weeks of public-sector strikes and street protests that paralyzed the country. New strikes and protests are scheduled for 31 March.
— to www.neweurope.eu