Macron told to resign with nuclear plan to push through pension reform

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French President Emmanuel Macron has sparked anger in Paris after invoking a so-called “nuclear option” to force through his pension reforms without a parliamentary vote. The Prime Minister in France, Elizabeth Borne, confirmed that the government will use article 49.3 of the French constitution to push through the reforms. Article 49.3 allows the French government to pass legislation without a vote, but it does also enable the opposition to call for a confidence vote.

The move risks causing more anger amongst protesting citizens and opposition politicians in France who oppose the pension reforms.

The policy will see the retirement age in France raised from 62 to 64 by 2030. Unions and other members of the public have been angered by the policy.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party, has said she will file for a vote of no confidence over the decision and is also calling on Prime Minister Borne to resign.

She added: “This last-minute resort to 49.3 is an extraordinary sign of weakness. She must go.”

If a no-confidence vote passes, Ms Borne will likely resign and Mr Macron could dissolve parliament.

However, it is more likely that such a vote would fail. This would probably see opposition groups try and overturn the reform by demanding a referendum or filing an appeal with the constitutional council.

Mr Macron defended his pension reforms this week, saying that as things stand, the financial and economic risks are too great” to not push them through.

Prime Minister Borne also said: “The bill is not a tepid compromise but contains advances for those who start work early, and pension increases for the least well off.

“It’s on this reform that I am prepared to throw my responsibility in the balance.”

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French MP Eric Bothorel, who is a member of Mr Macron’s Renaiisance Party, was furious though

He said: “We should have put it to a vote. We owed that to the opposition, to those who demonstrated their disagreement always in a calm and dignified manner. Defeat or victory, democracy would have spoken.

“I waver between disappointment and anger.”

With protests already growing, union leader Laurent Berger warned that “there will be more.”

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