Paris on fire after Macron’s ‘decree’ to approve his pension reform

There are protests all over the country. The government appears isolated, weakened and with the threat of a vote of no confidence that will be voted on Monday.

Paris burned on Thursday night and France is submerged in a brutal political and social crisis, with unpredictable results and deep radicalization.

The decision of the Emmanuel Macron government to approve the pension reform that delays the retirement age from 62 to 64 years, without a vote in Parliament and with the application of article 49.3 of the Constitution, as a presidential decree, radicalized the country and crossed the political parties.

The government appears isolated, weakened and with the threat of a vote of no confidence that will be voted on Monday, which could end the government of Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne.

Today the protests continue in the interior of the country and have cut the Peripheral, which bypasses the French capital. A ninth day of mobilization was announced for March 23. There will be mobilizations this weekend because they consider that the reform will be obtained as “a democratic denial.”

burned paris

Paris in flames on Thursday night. It began with a spontaneous demonstration in the Place de la Concorde, in front of the National Assembly, next to the Élysée Palace and the North American embassy, ​​after the decision to apply article 49.3 in the National Assembly, announced by Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, in the midst of chaos and songs from La Marseillaise. The protest spread. It ended with more than 250 detainees, including several Yellow Vests and one of their leaders.

First it was a wild protest, without authorization. Then came the violence. Water cannons, tear gas, hand-to-hand confrontations with the police, bullfights, and the fires started.

A gruesome scenario in front of the National Assembly in the midst of anger and disappointment. Dozens of buses loaded with passengers and vehicles stuck on the Champs-Élysées due to fire and repression. Terrified tourists seeking refuge in bars that closed their doors.

70 percent of the French, beyond political lines, oppose this pension reform. 56 percent reject the application of 49.3.

Six thousand people called for themselves in front of the Assembly when Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, a technocrat, announced the application of 49.3 before the assembly. A decision authorized by the Constitution. The march was not allowed and they asked for its dissolution. But a judge authorized it on behalf of the democratic protest.

With black paint, two young people wrote on the wooden walls of a construction site in the Place de la Concorde: “The contemptuous, the child king, go away.” “Macron, dictator.”

Garbage cans set on fire

Everything was on fire, encouraged by the garbage cans from a week of strike and the plastic barriers, which the mayoress of Paris has distributed throughout the city to block the streets and install bike lanes.

Garbage cans overflowed the streets after a week of strike by collectors. The mayor Anne Hidalgo refused to requisition the employees to collect the garbage for health reasons, in the middle of a pile of rotten rubbish out in the open, with a foul smell, rats, mice, pigeons and crows, like in a scene from a film from Hitchcock.

The bins were used to feed the bonfires, which gave the most touristic area of ​​the city a gruesome image on Thursday night.

“At least the rats are scared away,” said a concierge on rue Royal, next to Concorde.

It was the first day of spring and Parisians defied the electrical rationing of the shop windows. They settled on cafe terraces discussing the crisis while their city was in chaos, with a hellish traffic jam to escape the area.

protests across the country

This Friday the situation extended to the whole country. Thousands of people were walking on the train tracks in Toulon and the south of the country. The Peripheral that surrounds Paris was cut at the height of the Clignancourt gate. Nobody could pass.

People spontaneously went to the squares of the big cities. At the Gare de Lyon, the main train station in Paris to the south, coils of cables were burning. In Nantes they reinforced the police. It tensed in Rennes, in Bordeaux, in Lille.

The CGT, the second union in France, called for an action on Friday morning against the appeal of 49.3 and organized “filtering barriers at the access points to Paris: the Italie gate, Clignancourt and Montreuil”, announced the labor union. it’s a statement.

The Total de Normandie refinery was stopped and is the largest in France. The measures of force are going to be felt as the protest against the application of 49.3 radicalizes and wants to force the government to go back.

In Dijon, mannequins with the faces of government members were burned in the public square last night. There were the faces of Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, spokesman Olivier Veran on the Place de la République in the Bourgogne capital.

“Enormous violence”

The interior minister Gérald Darmanian described this morning “the enormous violence” over the “symbols of the state”, “the parliamentary residences in the interior of the country, the houses of the prefects”. He mentioned Albi, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes and the power cut at the house of the deputy Bruno Retailleau.

When the deputies asked for protection against threats, the minister said: “To touch a parliamentarian is to touch the republic.” He said that “the police and the gendarmerie are there to protect the elected people.”

“The opposition is legitimate, the demonstrations are legitimate. The Bordel or the “bordelization” of violence are not,” announced the Minister of the Interior.

The requisitions of the garbage workers began this Friday morning to start picking up the garbage, which has transformed Paris into an unhealthy city. The government accuses Anne Hidalgo of not having “wanted to take responsibility for her” for her. It is the police prefect, Laurent Nuñez, who has carried it out.

Isolated Government: What Now?

The government appears isolated, weakened, blocked and without a glorious exit. The motion of censure will be dealt with on Monday. And it is proposed by a group of 20 independent deputies, who have been joined by all the other parties, who have lowered theirs.

It is all chaos in a poorly communicated reform, poorly negotiated with the trade unionists, who voted for Emmanuel Macron to win the second presidential round in the face of Le Pen’s advance and today they feel betrayed.

Macron threatens to dissolve Parliament. The result is that he can win over far-right Marine Le Pen. Prime Minister Borne may fall and blow herself up in the crisis. Anger crosses parties and generations.

political disintegration

Macron had the chance to negotiate with the moderate Social Democratic unions because the CGT has lost strength. He said no. He did not receive them. Letters were exchanged, as King Charles of Great Britain likes him. Today the head of state has no force and no third term. But he will leave a France more fractured than ever, in a socio-political crisis worse than that of the Yellow Vests and with the possibility of being recovered by the xenophobic populism of Marine Le Pen.

Macron argues that if he did not extend the legal retirement age to 64, the boxes would be empty and he would not be able to finance the distribution system that works in France. He wanted to avoid that fall.

Retirement age in the European Union

But his intentions have ended in a political fiasco, which in a narcissist like the French president will cloud his historical legacy. His victory “is like Pirro” and in it he has made serious errors of analysis. Not even on the morning before the vote he could count on the necessary votes for his approval and immolated his prime minister in the application of 49.3.

Conservative Republicans, who for years defended reform at age 65, were divided over it and have now been left between fragmentation or dissolution.

Nupes, Jean Luc Mélenchon’s party, which abused parliamentary obstruction, abandoned its motion of no confidence to support that of the independent deputies like Marine Le Pen. There is a dangerous political disintegration and an unpredictable and dangerous revolt in France.





Arab Observer

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