Spontaneous protests in Paris over pension overhaul


Spontaneous protests continued in Paris on Friday over the government's contested pension overhaul.

Thousands gathered in Place de la Concorde square near the National Assembly, as they did on Thursday, after President Emmanuel Macron pushed through the controversial pension reforms without a parliamentary vote.

Protesters raised slogans, while police intervened against crowd disorder and cleared out the public square by firing tear gas. At least 38 people were arrested, according to the Le Figaro newspaper.

Workers and trade unions have expressed their growing furor over Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne's decision to invoke Article 49.3 of the Constitution.

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

Macron and Borne, however, opted to use the special constitutional powers to bypass the parliamentary process.

The decision was driven by the fear that lawmakers would be able to block the reforms, since the government does not have an absolute majority.

The reforms include raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 in 2030, and requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for full pension.

The plan has triggered public outrage since it was revealed last year, with massive protests and strikes being held across the country since January.

*Umit Donmez in Paris contributed to this story

Source: Anadolu Agency