French Opposition Fails to Repeal Controversial Pension Reform

French Opposition Fails to Repeal Controversial Pension Reform


Following heated debate, the centrist opposition group, Liberties, Independents, Overseas, and Territories (LIOT) made the decision to withdraw its bill due to the removal of its original provisions. The bill aimed to challenge President Macron’s unpopular reform, which proposed raising the legal retirement age to 64 by 2030.

Macron’s pension reform sparked months of heavy rioting and national outrage, especially among young people. The strikes created widespread disruption in French life, including garbage piling up in the streets and public transport cancellations. Hundreds were arrested, and hundreds more were injured.

Protesters march during a rally in Paris on March 23, 2023. Some sources put the protestors numbers in the millions. (Photo – Aurelien Morissard/AP)

Bertrand Pancher, representing the LIOT group, expressed concerns about the consequences of the pension reform, particularly for the more vulnerable citizens, and the impact on French democracy and social cohesion.

Support for repealing the reform came from both the left and the right factions. Despite lacking a majority in the National Assembly, Macron’s centrist party formed an alliance with some Republican lawmakers to counter the opposition’s efforts. Consequently, the Social Affairs Committee removed the key article pertaining to the retirement age from the bill during its review.

Leftist lawmakers announced their intention to initiate a confidence vote, scheduled for the beginning of the following week. Previously, Macron’s government had survived similar confidence votes.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Rally, criticized the government’s lack of majority support in both the Assembly and among the French people. She accused Macron of fearing the people, saying, “You are afraid of the vote, yes it’s true, but because in fact you are afraid of the people. The consequence is that your pension reform is illegitimate.”

Although Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age without a vote ignited significant public anger and led to large-scale protests, the intensity of opposition has diminished since the law’s enactment in April and the last major demonstrations on May 1.

Joshua Paulo
Joshua Paulo
Combining a Criminal Justice and International Relations background, Josh boasts years of experience in various forms of analysis and freelance journalism. He currently spearheads a team of professionals committed to delivering unbiased reporting to provide the public and private sector with accurate and insightful information. Josh serves as Atlas's Director of News.
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