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Protests Rock Paris: What’s Really Happening in France?


Protests have erupted throughout Paris in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age by two years on Thursday, a contentious decision that avoided a vote slated for just minutes later in the National Assembly.

Macron and his supporters say that raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 was required to prevent the country’s pension system from falling bankrupt. The change was supposed to be voted on by France’s lower house of parliament, but Macron invoked Article 49.3, a constitutional clause that allows the bill to be passed without a parliamentary vote.

The argument mirrors one that is already taking place in the United States, where economists anticipate that the country’s Social Security program will be insolvent by the middle of the next decade. Any changes to the pension system, including raising the eligibility age for payments, have been regarded with skepticism.

According to Sky News, Macron’s proposal sparked demonstrations in the French parliament, with some members singing the French national song and holding plaques that read, “No to 64 years.”

Sky News also reported that officers dressed in riot gear were throwing tear gas toward the rioters. Another television video showed cops charging at the crowd assembled at Place de la Concorde.

According to preliminary indications, at least 120 demonstrators were arrested Thursday night, according to France Bleu.

Some Republican-proposed reforms in the United States have advocated raising the Social Security and Medicare eligibility age from 67 to 70. Currently, any citizen born after 1960 is eligible for full retirement benefits at the age of 67.

Nevertheless, Democratic officials, including President Joseph Biden, have accused Republicans of trying to eliminate Social Security completely. The issue is shaping up to be a defining issue in the 2024 presidential election, with some contenders, such as Republican Nikki Haley, suggesting an earlier retirement age.

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