French police ban protests opposite parliament amid unrest


France on Saturday banned protests on a Paris square opposite parliament as unrest continued over the government imposing a pensions reform without a parliamentary vote.

Macron's move sparked fierce criticism, including from opposition lawmakers who have filed two motions of no-confidence against the government to be debated in parliament on Monday afternoon, according to France 24.

Police banned protests at the capital's Place de la Concorde and its surroundings after two days of unrest.

According to the French BFMTV channel, at least 61 protesters have been arrested by police on Friday.

Meanwhile, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Rhone authorities in Lyon also banned demonstrations from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time after clashes on Friday.

A total of 36 people were arrested in Lyon on Friday.

After the pension reform bill was passed by the Senate on Thursday, the final version of the draft bill was supposed to be taken up for parliamentary approval.

However, after consultations with President Emmanuel Macron, ministers, and other political officials, Prime minister Elisabeth Borne on Thursday invoked Article 49.3, which allows the prime minister to bypass parliament.

Borne then headed to the parliament to give a speech and invoked Article 49.3, which angered opposition members who previously said they would submit a censure motion in case such a step was taken.

Source: Anadolu Agency