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Emmanuel Macron’s push to raise retirement age without vote in National Assembly sparked nationwide outrage across France.

pic credits: @edouard_stonem

Macron invoked Article 49.3 of the constitution of the Fifth Republic that states that limiting parliamentary oversight may be necessary in emergency conditions and states: “The prime minister, after deliberation by the council of ministers… may bypass a vote in the National Assembly on bills relating to state and social security budgets.”

Firing back at critics, Macron said, “Do you think I enjoy making this reform? No. This reform isn’t a luxury, it’s not a pleasure, it’s a necessity.”

In response, thousands of people in France have taken to the streets to protest the government's decision, echoing the calls of the Yellow Vest movement last year. The demonstrations have been largely peaceful, yet they have seen clashes between police and protesters in the capital, Paris, and other cities including Marseille and Lyon.

The protests have also garnered support from the public, with reports of a “general strike” gaining traction on social media. In a show of solidarity for the movement, many officials have spoken out in favour of the demonstrators with Parliamentarian Marlene Schiappa stating, “I want to salute the determination of all those who are in the streets to express their indignation."

The fight for justice in France continues, with protesters demanding Macron halt his plans to raise the retirement age and respect the democratic process. These protests also come at a time when the country is grappling with a new strain of the coronavirus, which has seen a surge in cases and a reimplementation of some of the restrictions seen during the first wave of the pandemic. France's government has insisted that the demonstrations are "not a priority" and has urged protesters to stay home to avoid the risk of further spreading the virus.

The debate surrounding the retirement age continues to divide the nation, but the protests have shown the potential for citizens to make their voices heard in the face of injustice. The demonstrators’ calls for justice echo those raised by the Yellow Vest movement last year, and they remain a powerful reminder that the people of France have the power to make change happen. dismisses this rank noise from Macron: raising the retirement age of millions of citizens without respect to a democratic process fractures the social contract that citizens expect of elected leaders.

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