Pensions protests in France: France is preparing to judge Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age

(CNN) Security tighten in place The French capital, Paris As the country prepares for a decisive ruling on the constitutionality of divisive changes to France’s pension system.

The Paris Constitutional Council, the French equivalent of the US Supreme Court, is immune to the decision, which can see The retirement age in France Raised from 62 to 64.

An expert on French constitutional law told CNN that the police operation to protect the court is unprecedented. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve never seen pictures like this,” said Laureline Fontaine.

Massive protests have paralyzed key services across the country this year over French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal, a move that angered opposition lawmakers and unions. Uncollected rubbish piled up in the streets of Paris.

There are several possible outcomes of Friday’s ruling. If the law is greenlit, it will go into effect in September. The first retirees will have to wait an additional three months for their state pensions. With steady incremental increases, by 2030 the retirement age will be 64.

People take to the streets for the 12th day of nationwide strikes amid protests against pension reform on April 13, 2023 in Paris, France.

There can also be a partial strike. If only a portion of it is deemed unconstitutional, the court can choose to pass the remainder of the legislation into law. This will likely be seen as a win for Macron, who will then be able to offer dialogue to the trade unions.

If a court finds a law unconstitutional, it cannot be enacted. This is unlikely and would be a political earthquake for Macron, whose government has pushed through legislation without a direct vote using special constitutional powers.

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The assembly will also decide on Friday whether to allow a referendum on the law, which the opposition has called for.

Macron has argued that reforms are needed to rein in public finances, and he remained steadfast this week, saying “the country must keep moving forward”.

Thursday marks the 12th nationwide day of protests against the proposals. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets, but the turnout in the Interior Ministry – 380,000 – was about 200,000 lower than in the previous round of protests.

Some protesters in Paris forced their way into headquarters Luxury giant LVMH“If Macron wants to find money to finance the pension system, he should come here to find it,” a trade union leader told CNN.

The protests were mostly peaceful but also witnessed violent clashes.

CNN’s Xiaofei Xu and Oliver Briscoe contributed reporting.

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