Pension reform: the tension is rising dangerously before the votes of this Monday, March 20 on the motions of censure

The tension rose a notch this weekend in France, in the street as in political expressions, with the approach of the examination Monday of the motions of censure tabled after the recourse by the government to article 49.3 of the Constitution to have the pension reform adopted without a vote.

Radicalization ? While clashes with police took place in Paris on Saturday for the third night in a row and that thousands of people once again marched in the rest of France, all observers fear a crystallization of the opposition movement to the pension reform.

According to the police headquarters, quoted by several television channels, more than a hundred people were arrested, a figure up sharply from previous nights. In the night from Saturday to Sunday, the permanence of the president of the Republicans Eric Ciotti was also vandalized, he announced on Twitter.

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On the facade, the slogan “The motion or the pavement” has been drawn. “The thugs who did this want to use violence to pressure my vote on Monday,” Eric Ciotti tweeted, adding that he would not give in to terror.

Philippe Martinez, secretary general of the CGT, stressed on BFM TV that the vast majority of demonstrations on Saturday took place “with determination and calm”. “We have always condemned violence on the sidelines of demonstrations,” he recalled, before adding: “It is his responsibility (to President Emmanuel Macron) if the anger is at this level.”

“It will be a moment of truth”

Asked about the possible outcome of Monday’s votes in the National Assembly, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire replied in Le Parisien: “I think there will be no majority to bring down the government. But it will be a moment of truth.” “Is the pension reform worth, yes or no, the fall of the government and the political disorder? The answer is clearly no”, he added.

For Manuel Bompard, coordinator of insubordinate France, the use of 49.3 is on the contrary “the sign of an end of reign”. “I am not hiding, this government is carrying out a policy which, in my opinion, is not legitimate, is not in the majority in the population”, he said on Europe Un. “When I deposit with my colleagues a motion of censure, it is to bring down this reform but it is also to bring down this government.

The coming week will also be marked by a new ninth day of strikes and demonstrations at the call of the intersyndicale, Thursday, and by the continuation of the movement in the refineries with, as a result, the question of a possible impact on the supply of service stations. A spokesman for TotalEnergies told Reuters that 34% of the group’s refinery and depot operational workforce in France were on strike on Sunday morning.

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