AP

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.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

3 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

5 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

6 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

6 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

7 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

8 days ago

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