Rioters march on Elysee Palace in fury over Macron’s retirement law
RIOTERS threatened French president Emmanuel Macron’s official home last night after he bypassed parliament to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Thousands took to the streets to express their fury at the policy, setting fires to property and fighting police.
‘A group of rioters got away from the police and started marching towards the Elysee Palace,’ a witness said. ‘They wanted to get to Macron – to tell him what they think of his new measures.’
Officers responded by firing rounds of tear gas and holding back the crowd.
A police spokesman said there was no intrusion into the Elysee, which is Mr Macron’s official residence.
Mr Macron’s government faces a confidence vote after putting pension reforms through parliament without a vote.
He deployed a rarely-used constitutional power to do so because his government lacks a majority in the national assembly to raise the retirement age.
The senate backed the bill but misgivings within Mr Macron’s ruling party and the reluctance of Right-wing opposition MPs to come on board meant the government risked defeat in the lower house.
Prime minister Elisabeth Borne told MPs amid loud jeers: ‘We can’t take the risk of seeing 175 hours of parliamentary debate come to nothing.’
Trade unions and political analysts had warned that passing the legislation by decree risked radicalising opponents and that it would deprive the government of legitimacy.
Polls show that two thirds of voters oppose the pension reform.
The French government argues that raising the retirement age, axing privileges for some public sector staff and toughening criteria for a full pension were needed to head off major deficits.