Paris in flames and all of France radicalized after Macron’s “decree” to approve his pension reform: what now?

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Paris burned down on Thursday night and France is engulfed in a brutal political and social crisis, with unpredictable results and profound radicalisation. The decision of the Emmanuel Macron government to approve the pension reform which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64, without a vote in Parliament and with the application of Article 49.3 of the Constitution, as a presidential decreeradicalized the country and crossed political parties.

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The government appears isolated, weakened and with the threat of a no-confidence vote to be taken on Monday, which could end the government of Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne.

Today the protests continue in the interior of the country and have cut off the Periphery, which bypasses the French capital. A ninth day of mobilization it was announced for March 23rd. There will be mobilizations this weekend because they believe that reform will be achieved as “a democratic denial”.

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Burnt Paris

Paris in flames Thursday night. It began with a spontaneous demonstration on the Place de la Concorde, in front of the National Assembly, next to the Elysee Palace and the US Embassy, ​​following the decision to apply Article 49.3 of the National Assembly, announced by Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne , amidst the chaos and songs of the Marseillaise. The protest has spread. It ended up with more than 250 inmatesincluding several Yellow Vests and one of their leaders.

Wooden pallets burn during a protest against the pension reform law in the Plaza de la Concordia.  Photo: AP

Wooden pallets burn during a protest against the pension reform law in the Plaza de la Concordia. Photo: AP

First it was a wild protest, without authorization. Then came the violence. Water cannons, tear gas, hand-to-hand clashes with the police, bullfights and fires.

A gruesome scenario in front of the National Assembly between anger and disappointment. Dozens of busloads of passengers and vehicles stranded on the Champs-Élysées due to fires and repression. terrified tourists seeking refuge in bars that have closed their doors.

70 percent of the French, beyond political lines, opposes this pension reform. 56 percent reject the application of 49.3.

Six thousand people rallied in front of the Assembly when Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, a technocrat, announced the application of 49.3 in front of the Assembly. A decision authorized by the Constitution. The march was not allowed and they asked for it to be disbanded. But a judge authorized it on behalf of democratic protest.

First it was a wild protest, without authorization.  Then came the violence.. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

First it was a wild protest, without authorization. Then came the violence.. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

In black paint, two young men wrote on the wooden walls of a building site on the Place de la Concorde: “The contemptuous, the child king, go away.” “Macron, dictator”.

Garbage cans set on fire

Everything was ablaze, aided by the week-long strike’s rubbish bins and plastic barriers, which the mayor of Paris has deployed throughout the city to block streets and install bike lanes.

Garbage cans have overflowed the streets after a week-long collectors’ strike. Mayor Anne Hidalgo refused to commandeer employees to pick up trash for health reasons, amid a pile of rotting debris outdoors,with bad smell, rats, mice, pigeons and crowsLike a scene from a Hitchcock movie.

Garbage overflows in Paris.  Photo: Reuters

Garbage overflows in Paris. Photo: Reuters

The bins were used to feed the bonfires, which gave the most touristic area of ​​the city a gruesome picture Thursday night.

“At least the rats are scared off,” said a porter on the rue Royal, next to the Concorde.

It was the first day of spring and the Parisians defied the electric rationing of the shop windows. They settled on café terraces discussing the crisis while their city was in chaos, with one hell of a traffic jam to escape the area.

Accidental scenes, Thursday night in Paris.  Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

Scenes of the case, Thursday evening in Paris. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

protests across the country

This Friday the situation extended to the whole country. Thousands of people they walked on the train tracks in Toulon and in the south of the country. The suburbs surrounding Paris were cut off at the Clignancourt gate. No one could pass.

people spontaneously went to the squares of big cities. At the Gare de Lyon, the main train station in Paris to the south, reels of cable burned. In Nantes they have strengthened the police. It stretched out in Rennes, in Bordeaux, in Lille.

The CGT, the second largest trade union in France, called an action against the 49.3 appeal on Friday morning and organized “filtering barriers at the access points to Paris: the Italie gate, Clignancourt and Montreuil”, the union said. .

Unionists block train tracks in Bordeaux.  Photo: MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP

Unionists block train tracks in Bordeaux. Photo: MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP

The Normandie Total refinery stopped and is the largest in France. The measures of force will be felt while the protest against the application of 49.3 becomes more radical and wants to force the government to go back.

In Dijon, mannequins with the faces of members of the government they were burned in the public square last night. There were the faces of Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, spokesperson Olivier Veran on the Place de la République in the Burgundy capital.

“Huge Violence”

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanian described this morning “the enormous violence” against “symbols of the state”, “parliamentary residences within the country, the houses of the prefects”. He mentioned Albi, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes and the blackout at the home of deputy Bruno Retailleau.

"I will be dead when I retire," read a protester

“I will be dead when I retire,” read a protester’s banner in Rennes. Photo: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP

When MPs asked for protection against threats, the minister said: “To touch an MP is to touch the republic.” He said that “the police and gendarmerie are there to protect the chosen people”.

“The opposition is legitimate, the demonstrations are legitimate. Bordel or the “bordelisation” of violence is not,” the interior minister announced.

The requisitions of the garbage collectors began this Friday morning to start lifting the rubbish, which has turned Paris into an unhealthy city. The government accuses Anne Hidalgo of not having “willed to take responsibility”. It is the prefect of police, Laurent Nuñez, who executed him.

Mountains of garbage in Paris.  Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Mountains of garbage in Paris. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Isolated government: what now?

The government appears isolated, weakened, blocked and no glorious exit. THE motion of censure We’ll talk about it on Monday. And it is proposed by a group of 20 independent deputies, who have joined all other gameswho lowered theirs.

Macron threatens to dissolve Parliament. The result is that far-right Marine Le Pen can win. Prime Minister Borne could fall and blow himself up during the crisis. Anger crosses parties and generations.

It’s chaos all within a badly communicated and badly negotiated reform with trade unionists, who voted for Emmanuel Macron to win the presidential runoff before Le Pen’s advance and today they feel betrayed.

political disintegration

Macron was given the chance to negotiate with moderate social democratic unions because the CGT lost strength. He refused. He hasn’t received them. Letters were exchanged, as King Charles of Great Britain likes. Today the head of state has no strength and does not have a third mandate. but he will leave a France more fractured than everin a socio-political crisis worse than that of the Yellow Vests and with the possibility that it is recovered from xenophobic populism by Marine Le Pen.

Macron argues that if he hadn’t extended the statutory retirement age to 64, the boxes would be empty and it could not finance the distribution system that operates in France. He wanted to avoid that fall.

But his intentions are over a political fiasco that in a narcissist like the French president is going to tarnish his historical legacy. His victory “is like Pyrrhus” and in it he made serious errors of analysis. Not even the morning before the vote was he able to count on the votes necessary for its approval and immolated its prime minister in application of 49.3.

Conservative Republicans, who have advocated reform for years at age 65, They were divided faced with it and now remained between fragmentation or dissolution.

Nupes, Jean Luc Mélenchon’s party, which has abused parliamentary obstructionism, abandoned the motion of no confidence to support that of independent deputies such as Marine Le Pen. There is a dangerous political disintegration and an unpredictable and dangerous revolt in France.


Source: Clarin

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