French Govt. Survives No-Confidence Vote, Pension Reform Becomes Law

    French Govt. Survives No-Confidence Vote, Pension Reform Becomes Law
    Last updated Mar 20, 2023
    Image credit: nbc


    • After protests erupted against his controversial pension reform, French Pres. Macron's government survived two votes of no-confidence on Monday. Government officials filed motions for the vote after Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne used a special constitutional power, called Article 49:3, to push the bill through without a vote last week.[1]
    • The first of the two proposals came from a centrist group and came just nine votes short of the 287 needed to pass. The other came from the right-wing National Rally and garnered 94 votes.[2]
    • Protests have erupted throughout France against Macron’s proposal to raise the national retirement age from 62 to 64. Approximately 4K protesters gathered in the Place d’Italie in Paris, many chanting “Macron, resign!” However, Macron's position was safe even if the vote of no confidence had passed.[3]
    • The pension reforms are now adopted under French law, but opposition legislators have vowed to continue their fight against the controversial new law.[4]
    • If the no-confidence vote had succeeded, the pension plan would have become null, and the government would have resigned. Macron would've stayed in power and could have chosen to retain Prime Minister Borne, which was likely since no other name has been floated.[5]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    There comes a time when a leader must make a difficult and unpopular decision for the long-term betterment of his society, and Emmanuel Macron did that in his efforts to save France’s pension problem. France’s demographics make it nearly impossible to maintain the status quo — the ratio of workers to retirees shows insolvency in the near future. Macron made a tough political decision to save France’s pension program.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Macron’s government has defied the will of the French people, and it should have fallen. The grassroots support shows how much Macron’s constituents oppose his policy, and to make matters worse, Macron used undemocratic means to advance his unpopular pension reform. French democracy looks more like a farce each day, and Macron’s government does not represent the people.

    Establishment split



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