A controversial bill that would raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 got a boost with the Senate’s passage of the measure amid strikes, protests and uncollected garbage that ends up higher by the day.
French Premier Elisabeth Borne tweeted late Saturday after the 195-112 vote that she looked forward to the final passage of the bill, hailing a “decisive step towards reform that will secure the future of our pension system”.
But the legislation must now navigate tricky political territory with several potential outcomes.
It first leads a committee of seven senators and seven lower house lawmakers to find a compromise between the two chambers’ versions of the text on Wednesday – as unions planned an eighth round of nationwide protest marches.
President Emmanuel Macron is rude about the uncollected garbage that is collected Paris and other cities from a strike by garbage workers who opposed the bill and reduced services and supplies in other sectors such as transportation and energy.
Macron has refused a request from unions to meet him, which leftist CGT union leader Philippe Martinez said was “giving the finger”.
There has been no government response to a union request for a “citizen consultation” on the legislation, which was made on Saturday after another day of marches that drew far fewer people onto the streets than protests four days earlier.
Senate President Gerard Larcher expressed pride in the work of his colleagues after their vote – a day before the deadline – and said the body controlled by the conservative right played its role “with only one goal regardless of what our feelings are, the interest and interests of the country. of it French people.”
Unions say the French are voicing their opposition to the reform in the streets and through strikes, but are continuing even if they are shrinking in some sectors.
The government hopes to avoid using a special constitutional power to force the bill through parliament without a vote. Parliamentary approval would give a large measure of legitimacy to the pension plan.
But there are several scenarios before the reform can become law, making its path uncertain.
If the joint committee reaches an agreement on Wednesday, the pension reform plan would receive a final vote the following day in the Senate and the National Assembly, the lower house.
Without agreement, the bill would likely return to the National Assembly for more debate and a final vote, then likely back to the Senate. Borne, the prime minister, was optimistic that the measure would “definitely be adopted in the coming days.” ___
Masha Macpherson and Sylvie Corbet contributed to this report.