- In conjunction with a strong and continuous protest movement in the French street, the Senate approved, on Saturday, a key article in a draft to amend the retirement system, which provides for raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
- 195 members of the Council voted in favor of raising the retirement age, compared to 112 members who voted against it.
- A joint committee will start working from Wednesday, March 15th to the 26th of the same month, to find a consensual formula on the law that the country’s trade unions oppose and mobilize against it continuously.
- This committee will carry out its work in accordance with Article 45 of the French Constitution, which gives it the right to intervene to discuss any bill that is the subject of disagreement between the National Assembly and the Senate.
- This committee includes 7 deputies from the National Assembly and 7 members from the Senate, belonging to the party blocs represented in the two chambers.
Scenario passing the law by force
Observers fear that the French government, in light of the rejection of a number of right-wing deputies of the draft law (about 20 deputies), will be forced to activate Article 49.3 of the French constitution, which gives the prime minister the right to pass it by force.
But this proposition remains far away so far, for fear that the opposition will use it to move the National Assembly (the French Parliament) to withdraw confidence from the Bourne government.
Is the government backing down?
Political analyst and journalist Joan Souz, a member of the French Syndicate of Journalists known as “SNJ”, said in a statement to “Sky News Arabia” from Paris that, until the present moment, the French government is still continuing to approve all the amendments it had previously proposed regarding social security and raising the age of Retirement to 64 years instead of 62, despite the labor unions’ rejection of the matter and the expansion of protests against the project during the past days.
According to Souz, the protest movement coincided with a comprehensive strike in several government departments and private institutions, and despite this, the number of protesters in the street did not constitute 15 percent of the population, which may indicate the limited number of opponents of the law, which may push the government to move forward with their discussions.
Souz believes that there are other reasons that may push the government to pass the law, including, for example, the economic crisis that the country is suffering from and is reflected in the rise in prices, the high unemployment rate, and other problems that the country is going through as one of the reflections of the Ukrainian crisis, and the government does not find a solution to it except approval of these amendments.
Late on Saturday night, Elizabeth Bourne, French Prime Minister, welcomed the second chamber’s approval of the controversial law, describing this stage as “important.”
“Despite the obstruction attempts made by some partisan blocs, we were able to organize a democratic dialogue,” she declared.
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