France’s debate on contested pension bill to head to Senate

Feb 16, 2023, 12:56 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2023, 2:57 am

PARIS (AP) — The lower house of France’s parliament debated a contested pension bill aimed at raising the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64 during what was expected to be lawmakers’ last discussion on the proposal before sending the legislation to the Senate.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has vowed to go ahead with the reform despite nationwide protests and strikes and opinion polls consistently showing a majority of French people oppose the change.

The National Assembly’s two-week discussion has featured flaring tempers and thousands of amendments proposed mostly by the left-wing opposition, making it impossible for lawmakers to debate the full bill before a Friday deadline.

On Friday morning, lawmakers discussed amendments related to the second of 20 articles.

Both the government and the opposition accused each other of hurting the democratic debate with political tactics.

Macron’s allies denounced a strategy of “obstruction” from the left that it said prevented lawmakers from doing their jobs.

Opposition lawmakers criticized the government for invoking parliamentary rules on budget bills to set a tight deadline at the National Assembly, arguing it did not leave enough time to debate such an important issue.

The Senate is scheduled to considering the bill on March 2. The complex legislative process is expected to continue for several weeks.

Workers unions and youth organization pledged to “bring France to a standstill” during next protest day scheduled on March 7.

The government hopes the text will ultimately be voted by both houses of parliament with the support of The Republicans’ party, which has been for years pushed for raising the retirement age.

Macron’s centrist alliance has the most seats at the National Assembly but lost its majority in legislative elections last year.

The Senate is dominated by The Republicans.

To mark its opposition, the far-right National Rally requested a no-confidence vote against the government, to be examined in the early hours of Saturday after the end of the debate on the pension bill itself.

The move is mostly symbolic, since other political groups have said they won’t vote the motion, which needs half the seats at the Assembly, or 289 seats, to be approved. The National Rally’s group counts 88 lawmakers.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - In this July 3, 2014, file photo, the Microsoft Corp. logo is displayed outside the Microsof...
Associated Press

Microsoft adds AI tools to Office apps like Outlook, Word

Microsoft is infusing artificial intelligence tools into its Office software, including Word, Excel and Outlook emails.
3 days ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey shows the Tanag...
Associated Press

Alaska volcanoes now pose lower threat, after quakes slow

Diminished earthquake activity led authorities Thursday to reduce the warning levels at two volcanoes on an uninhabited island in Alaska’s Aleutian chain because of the decreased potential for eruptions.
3 days ago
A television screen displaying financial news is seen inside one of First Republic Bank's branches ...
Associated Press

Big banks create $30B rescue package for First Republic

NEW YORK (AP) — Eleven of the biggest U.S. banks Thursday announced a $30 billion rescue package for First Republic Bank in an effort to prevent it from becoming the third to fail in less than a week and head off a broader banking crisis. San Francisco-based First Republic serves a similar clientele as Signature […]
4 days ago
A pedestrian carries an umbrella while walking past a Silicon Valley Bank Private branch in San Fra...
Associated Press

Experts, banks look for ideas to stop next bank failure

The warning signs were all there. Silicon Valley Bank was expanding at a breakneck pace and pursuing wildly risky investments in the bond market. The vast majority of its deposits were uninsured by the federal government, leaving its customers exposed to a crisis.
4 days ago
FILE - Text from the ChatGPT page of the OpenAI website is shown in this photo, in New York, Feb. 2...
Associated Press

What can ChatGPT maker’s new AI model GPT-4 do?

The company behind the ChatGPT chatbot has rolled out its latest artificial intelligence model, GPT-4, in the next step for a technology that’s caught the world's attention.
4 days ago
Lumber is stored in the yard at East Coast Lumber, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Hampstead, N.H. On We...
Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press

US wholesale inflation fell last month on lower food costs

Wholesale price increases in the United States slowed sharply last month as food and energy costs declined, a sign that inflationary pressures may be easing.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
France’s debate on contested pension bill to head to Senate