in biggest challenge to President Macron’s authority in over four years #biggest #challenge #President #Macrons #authority #years #englishheadline


Massive protests have erupted across France as anger grows over President Macron’s controversial use of executive powers to ram through changes to the pension age.

French President Emmanuel Macron imposed an overhaul to the country’s pension age without a parliamentary vote, instead invoking a contentious executive power to force through the bill by decree.

Protesters have lined the streets of the capital and several major cities across the country for a third day of unrest in the most severe challenge to Mr Macron’s authority since the Gilet Jaunes protests over four years ago.

Police banned gatherings on the central Place de la Concorde – one of the major public squares in Paris – on Saturday night in response to the worsening protests.

The nearby Champs-Élysées was also closed off to rallies due to “serious risks of disturbances to public order” after police made 61 arrests in the area on Friday night.

Instead, protesters took to other parts of the capital on Saturday night.

Police clashed with demonstrators on the streets of Paris for the third night, using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds gathered on the Place d’Italie in southern Paris.

Rubbish bins were set on fire, barricades erected, and windows smashed as protesters chanted “Macron, resign!” and “Macron is going to break down, we are going to win.”

The laws raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 in a move the government argues will bring France into line with its other European neighbours and prevent the system from slipping into deficit.

About two-thirds of French people oppose the pension changes, according to polling, with critics saying the changes are unfair on people who work from a young age in physically taxing jobs and parents who take leave from their careers.

The Opposition have tabled two motions of no confidence in the government which are due to be debated on Monday afternoon.

The 45-year-old French leader is yet to publicly comment on the matter.

Municipal rubbish collectors have also conducted a 13-day rolling strike which has left over 10,000 tonnes of rubbish sweltering in the streets of Paris.

By Friday, trucks from five depots across the city had resumed work but many are expected to strike until at least Tuesday.

English Headline

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