France’s government survives no-confidence votes and controversial pension reforms will move ahead

Two no-confidence votes against French President Emmanuel Macron’s government have failed in the country’s parliament, clearing the way for his hugely unpopular pension reforms to be implemented and sparking new protests in Paris.

The government triggered special constitutional powers last Thursday to push through controversial legislation that would raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64 for most workers. Lawmakers critical of the move called the no-confidence votes that were held on Monday.

The first motion was brought forward by the small parliamentary group “LIOT,” which represents various small parties and was seen as the most likely of the two to threaten the government. It received 278 votes – just nine short of the 287 majorities needed to pass.

The government’s narrow survival will exacerbate

the legitimacy crisis that Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne’s cabinet and Macron’s presidency are facing.

“The Prime Minister must resign, taking her reform with her,” said Mathilde Panot, parliamentary leader of the communist party, following the vote.

The opposition is now looking to appeal to France’s constitutional council, the highest constitutional body in the country, in order to block part or all of the law. The council would have up to a month to consider any objections to the legislation.

Meanwhile, popular anger against the reforms shows no sign of ending, with protestors gathering in central Paris following the votes and clashing with police.

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