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    HomeWorldFrench President Macron Signs Pension Reform Bill Despite Criticism and Protests

    French President Macron Signs Pension Reform Bill Despite Criticism and Protests

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    French President Emmanuel Macron signed a controversial pension reform into law on Saturday. The changes include raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 and extending the years of work required for a full pension, despite three months of protests and pleas from unions not to implement the legislation. The alterations became law after the text was published in France’s official journal before dawn, prompting accusations from the opposition that Macron was trying to pass it through in secret. The Constitutional Council approved the essence of the legislation on Friday. Unions are calling for mass Labour Day protests on May 1, and sometimes violent demonstrations erupted in several cities after the verdict was announced.

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    The constitutional court’s decision could prove a shallow victory for Macron, as polls show that two out of three French people are against working an additional two years. Macron has called the change “necessary” to avoid pension deficits forecast to hit €13.5bn ($14.8bn) by 2030. The president’s approval ratings are near their lowest levels ever, and many voters have been outraged by his decision to push the pensions law through parliament without a vote.

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    Bikes, e-scooters and garbage were set on fire in Paris overnight while protests rallying hundreds erupted in other cities, including Marseille and Toulouse. In the western city of Rennes, protesters set fire to the entrance of a police station and a conference centre. Paris police said 112 people had been arrested as of 10:30 pm (2030 GMT). Macron is expected to address the French early next week, according to a presidential source. It remains to be seen if the effort by trade unions to block the changes will continue after three months of strikes and protests.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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