The march in Paris registered some clashes with the security forces, which resulted in 18 detainees, according to the police. The authorities deployed 11,000 agents in the country, of which 4,000 in the capital.
The protesters are asking the government to reverse its proposal to tighten the conditions for access to a full pension, while the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, warned that the delay to 64 years “is no longer negotiable.”
The left opposition called for a virtual “popular censure motion” in the streets. “We are living a historic day. Mr Macron is sure to lose,” said its leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for a “referendum” on the project.
With the already announced rejection of the left-wing Nupes front and the extreme right, the government hopes to win key support in Parliament from the right-wing party Los Republicanos (LR), favorable to a reform, but divided on whether to support the current project.
Popular rejection, currently around 70% according to polls, increases the pressure. In addition, according to an Odoxa survey, two out of three French people have a negative opinion of Macron and the prime minister.
Since coming to power in 2017, Macron has defended his desire to “shake up” the system with his liberal reforms, which have sometimes earned him the image of “president of the rich”, such as during the social protest of the “yellow vests”. ”.
The pension reform is key for him. The retirement age in France is one of the lowest in Europe and bringing it closer to that of his neighbors seeks to guarantee the future balance in the pension fund, according to this former banker.
After the pandemic forced it to withdraw a first attempt, the government chose a controversial parliamentary procedure that allows it to apply the current plan if both houses of Parliament do not rule by the end of March.
Deadlines are tight. The National Assembly -lower house- began this week to examine in commission the 7,000 amendments presented to the text, before it goes to the plenary on
Monday and then to the Senate.