Emmanuel Macron survives two votes of no confidence with only NINE votes on unpopular pension reforms
French President Emmanuel Macron’s government today survived two no-confidence votes – one by just nine votes – over hugely unpopular pension reforms.
The poll in the National Assembly on Monday was triggered by the head of state raising the retirement age without a parliamentary vote from 62 to 64.
The first no-confidence motion, by centrists, needed 287 votes to pass but received 278 – a slim margin of victory for Macron. One second of the far right won just 94 votes.
It means that the hugely unpopular pension reform will be passed into law right now, but further opposition is inevitable.
Rioters have been on the streets of France since Macron overruled the National Assembly last Thursday to introduce the new legislation by presidential decree.
Far-left legislators have papers marked “64 years.” It’s no’, ‘meeting on the street’ and ‘we will continue’ in today’s vote of confidence
Emmanuel Macron, pictured here Thursday at the Foreign Office in Paris, pushed through pension reforms without a vote
As the result of the censure motion was read out, opposition MPs from the left-wing France Unbowed party held up printed signs reading ‘RIP’, chanting ‘Resign! Dismissal!’
The narrow vote is a personal disaster for Macron’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who had been trying to win a parliamentary majority for the legislation.
Countless politicians had been threatened with the guillotine if they supported President Macron’s government.
Police said macabre messages had been sent to MPs preparing for the crucial poll.
“I’m getting death threats now,” said Agnes Evren, MP and Vice Chairman of the Republican Party.
She said anonymous tormentors had called for the beheading of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette in Paris during the so-called “terror” that followed the 1789 revolution.
“These extremists are refusing debate – they have no respect for their political opponents and are openly inspired by the terror,” Ms Evren tweeted.
Don’t underestimate the danger any longer. Any threat of this type will now be the subject of a complaint.”
A police officer clashes with protesters today at a demonstration in Lille, France, as lawmakers attended votes on pension reforms and distrust in Emmanuel Macron’s government
Pedestrians walk past a fire made from household waste during demonstrations in Bordeaux, southwest France, on Saturday
A French policeman watches fire on Saturday during a demonstration in Bordeaux, southwest France, against the plans
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne (pictured) today tried to secure a parliamentary majority for the legislation
Frederique Meunier, from the Republican party, said: “It’s like they want to behead us.”
And Guillaume Gouffier Valente, an MP from Macron’s Renaissance Party, saw a hangman’s sign scrawled outside his office in Vincennes, east of Paris.
“He has now made a formal request to the Ministry of the Interior for police protection for threatened colleagues,” says a party spokesman.
Renaissance MP Brigitte Klinkert reported graffiti outside her office that read, “You vote against us, we will remember.”
Other politicians were clear in their condemnation of the proposed reforms and the way they were implemented.
Central MP Charles de Courson, who tabled the left-backed motion with his group, lamented the government’s decision last week to use a special constitutional power to evade a vote on the pension law.
How can we accept such contempt for parliament? How can we accept such terms to examine a text that will have lasting effects on the lives of millions of our fellow citizens?’ he said.
Far-left MP Mathilde Panot told the government that “people look at you the way we look at someone who has committed treason, with a mixture of anger and disgust”.
She said, “Only nine votes are missing to overthrow both the government and its reforms.
“The government is already dead in the eyes of the French, it no longer has any legitimacy.”
Laure Lavalette, from the far-right National Rally party, said ‘whatever the outcome, you have failed to convince the French’.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said her group would petition the Constitutional Council on Tuesday to investigate and possibly censor the bill.
On Sunday, there was a fourth night of violence across France following Macron’s decision to bypass parliament last Thursday.
A protester holds a sign with Macron’s face reading ‘they have to come get me’ during a protest in Paris on Saturday
Protesters carry a puppet figure of Emmanuel Macron at a demonstration in Nice, southern France, on Sunday
A French police officer tries to extinguish the flames at the entrance of a town hall in Lyon on Friday evening after a protest
Gangs roamed the streets of major cities, including Paris, burning effigies of the president and senior ministers before police responded with tear gas and baton charges.
Strikes by garbage collectors in response to the law, which have now taken place for 15 days in a row, have led to a high pile of rubbish in the capital.
The three main incinerators serving the French capital are largely blocked, as is a waste sorting center northwest of Paris.
“The aim is to support the striking workers in Paris, to put pressure on this government that wants to pass this unjust, ruthless and useless and ineffective law,” said Kamel Brahmi of the CGT union in a speech to the workers of sorting center Romanville. plant.
Some refineries supplying petrol stations are at least partially blocked, and Transport Minister Clement Beaune said on France-Info radio that he would take action if necessary to ensure fuel still comes out.
Unions, demanding that the government simply repeal the pension law, called for new nationwide protests on Thursday.