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Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting, but the French can still accept the pension reform next week

The vote in the upper house gave parliamentary legitimacy to the reform proposal and paved the way for final adoption, which is expected on Thursday.

Important progress was made in the evening with the broad adoption of the pension reform bill in the Senate

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne told the AFP news agency. “Despite the obstructionist attempts of some factions, the democratic debate took place,” he added.

I am sure that there will be a parliamentary majority to vote on the text

– emphasized the Prime Minister, even though the outcome of the National Assembly vote scheduled for Thursday is still uncertain.

Bruno Retailleau, the leader of the opposition center-right Republican Senate faction, welcomed the adoption of the bill and publicly asked Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt to convey the following message to President Emmanuel Macron: “We will vote for the reform, but we will not vote for him (Macron).

On the left’s side, Monique Lubin described the bill as “brutal” and said: “this is a dark day for every wage earner in this country.”

Before the vote, the French protested again with street demonstrations at the call of the trade unions.

With the demonstrations – as well as the rolling strikes affecting oil refineries, public transport and garbage collection – the trade unions want to put pressure on the representatives not to vote for the government’s proposal, one of the most important elements of which is raising the retirement age.

According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, a total of 368,000 people protested in various cities on the seventh day.

At the mass events that accompanied the previous protest days, more than one million people took to the streets across the country, according to the authorities and the organizers, on the sixth protest day, Tuesday, the participation set a record. The police informed us that 1.28 million people, according to the CGT trade union 3.5 million, protested in more than two hundred cities.

Based on the surveys, 70 percent of the French support the protest, and 60 percent also agree with the strike in strategic sectors.

The pension reform was put into perspective by the head of state in his campaign before his first mandate, in 2017, and then he announced it as the main measure of his second mandate, but since he does not have the necessary parliamentary majority to pass the draft law, and the left is hindering the vote by submitting thousands of amendments, the right-wing it also needs the votes of the opposition to pass the reform.

According to the government’s plans, the mixed committee of the two houses of the parliament, where the party of the head of state and the right-wing opposition are in the majority, will meet on Wednesday to finalize the text of the reform, and then the Senate can vote on it first on Thursday, and in the afternoon the lower house, the National Assembly.

On Friday, Emmanuel Macron did not rule out the possibility that the government will implement Article 49.3 of the constitution, based on which it will not submit the reform to a final parliamentary vote. According to the law, a draft is considered to have been adopted by the parliament if the majority of the ministers agree to bypass the vote, and within 24 hours after that a motion of no confidence does not move the government. The government also used this solution to approve the budget in the fall.

Cover image: Getty Images