March 21, 2023

In France, in the conflict over the adoption of a controversial pension reform law, the opposition on Friday, March 17, introduced two resolutions of no confidence in the government. One resolution was submitted by a group of independent deputies and representatives of overseas territories (LIOT), the other by the far-right National Rally Party (RN). “Voting on the resolution will open the way out of the crisis,” said LIOT chief Bertrand Panchet.

The day before, the French government took advantage of an article of the constitution that allows pension reform without a vote in the event that the cabinet survives a subsequently initiated vote of no confidence. Voting in National Assembly could take place as early as Monday, March 20.

If the majority of deputies votes for no confidence, then the pension reform will be rejected, and the government will have to resign. Then French President Emmanuel Macron can either appoint a new prime minister or call new elections. Experts doubt that supporters of the vote of no confidence will manage to get a majority, since conservative Republicans, apparently, will support the government. In case of failure of the no-confidence vote, the pension reform will be adopted definitively.

Mass protests in France

Government attempts to carry out pension reform without a vote in parliament only intensified protestsheld by the opposition. On the morning of March 17, demonstrators temporarily blocked the Paris city autobahn and train stations in Toulouse and Bordeaux. In the evening, a large protest rally took place at the Place de la Concorde in the center of Paris.

Several hundred demonstrators pelted the police with bottles and fireworks. The police used tear gas to clear the area. More than 60 people were detained. New demonstrations also took place in Lyon, Strasbourg and Lille. The total number of detainees reached 310 people.

The CGT union went on strike at an oil refinery in Normandy. Until now, the demonstrators have only blocked such factories, but they continued to work. Meanwhile, rubbish piles up in Paris due to a public utility strike. There is a strong stench in the city. According to the estimates of the city administration, the volume of uncollected garbage has reached ten thousand tons.

See also:

Macron relented: what will the yellow vests do?

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