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France bypasses parliament to pass pension reform

Protests against the pension reform in France March 15. Associated Press/Photo by Michel Spingler

France bypasses parliament to pass pension reform

French President Emmanuel Macron invoked his constitutional authority Thursday to pass a bill that would raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64. Article 49.3 of the French Constitution allows the government to bypass the Assemblée nationale (lower house of Parliament) after deliberation at a cabinet meeting. Macron said the reform is needed to keep the pension fund from going into a deficit. French citizens have been holding protests and strikes across the country since January. 

Is there any way to stop the bill? Lawmakers can still keep the bill from passing by filing a no-confidence vote within 24 hours to dissolve the government. More than half of Parliament would need to vote for a no-confidence vote to pass it. The last and only time a no-confidence vote succeeded was in 1962. Without a successful no-confidence vote, the bill will be considered passed. The rule has been used many times since the current French Constitution’s creation in 1958.

Dig deeper: Listen to Jenny Lind Schmitt’s report in The World and Everything in It podcast for more on the bill.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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