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France bans pension protests in front of parliament – The Times of India

PARIS: France on Saturday banned protests outside parliament after a second night of unrest sparked by the president Emmanuel Macron Imposing a comprehensive pension reform without a parliamentary vote.
But peaceful marches erupted in other parts of the country after Macron’s government on Thursday resorted to a controversial executive to enforce the law by decree.
The move caused outrage among the political class as well as angry protests in the street, presenting the 45-year-old leader with one of the biggest challenges he faces less than a year into his second and final term.
Parliamentary sources said that opposition deputies submitted two motions of no confidence in the government to be discussed in parliament on Monday afternoon.
They hope to garner enough support to bring down the government and repeal the law to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
On Saturday, the Paris police banned protests in the capital Concorde Square Across the Seine from the Parliament building, after clashes the previous two nights between some protesters and the police.
It said it did so “out of grave risk of disturbing public order”.
But people marched in other parts of the country after unions called for a weekend of protests.
An AFP correspondent reported that about 300 people gathered Saturday morning in the eastern town of Besancon.
Among them, Natalie, a woman in her 30s, threw her voter registration card into a fire.
“I was elected as a member of Parliament, but he was denied his right to vote. We are in the midst of a denial of democracy,” she said, declining to give her last name.
Philip Martinezpresident of the CGT union, took part in a rally among about 200 people in the town of Meaux outside Paris.
Others swarmed the northern port city of Le Havre.
“Macron is already deaf at 45?” Read one tag on the back of the protester’s jacket.
Unions have called for another day of nationwide strikes and rallies on Thursday.
– Overnight unrest – Thousands packed the capital’s Place de la Concorde on Friday to express their frustration with the government’s imposition of reform, despite two months of strikes and demonstrations against change.
Agence France-Presse journalists said that police moved to disperse the demonstrators at nightfall after a fire was set in the Place de la Concorde.
Groups of people threw bottles and firecrackers at the security forces, who responded with tear gas in an attempt to clear the square. Police said they made 61 arrests.
Reporting 36 arrests, police said in the southeastern city of Lyon, the demonstrators tried to storm a town hall and set the building on fire.
Opinion polls show about two-thirds of French people oppose the reform, which would also require people to work longer to get a full pension.
The government said it was necessary to avoid the system from sliding into disability, and to bring France in line with its European neighbors where the legal retirement age is usually later in life.
But critics say the changes are unfair to people who start working at a young age in physically challenging jobs, and women who take a break from their careers to raise children.
The protests since mid-January have drawn some of the largest crowds in decades, but the popular movement appears to have begun to wane in the days before the government imposed the bill.
However, garbage collectors in the capital continued to strike, causing an estimated 10,000 tons of rubbish to appear on the streets by Friday.
But a union representative said on Saturday that strikers at three incinerators outside Paris would allow some garbage trucks to pass “to reduce the risk of an epidemic”.
In the energy sector, the CGT union said the strikers will stop production at two refineries by the end of the week or Monday at the latest.
National train operator SNCF unions on Friday urged workers to continue another ongoing strike that has caused significant disruption to the network.
Macron He put pension reform at the center of his re-election campaign last year.
But the former banker lost his parliamentary majority in June after the National Assembly elections.
The government used the controversial Article 49.3 of the constitution on Thursday because it feared there was not enough support in the House of Representatives to win a vote on the pension bill.
But the prime minister Elizabeth BourneIt is widely expected that the US President’s government will survive any vote of no confidence.
The proposal would need the support of nearly half of the opposition right-wing Republican group, a scenario seen as extremely unlikely.

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