France pension reforms: The Constitutional Council approves raising the retirement age to 64.
The Macron government’s hugely unpopular proposal to raise the state pension age from 62 to 64 has been approved by France’s highest constitutional court.
Political opponents also called for a referendum, however the Constitutional Council rejected several of the amendments due to legal faults.
Since January, there have been twelve days of rallies opposing the reforms.
The government utilized a special constitutional prerogative in March to force the measures through without a vote.
President Emmanuel Macron says the changes are necessary to keep the pension system from imploding, and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said on Friday that “tonight there is no winner, no loser.”
The authorities had prohibited protests in front of the Constitutional Council building until Saturday morning, but throngs had gathered nearby, and the ruling was welcomed with jeers.
Some marchers chanted that they would keep protesting until the reforms were reversed.
In the event of further, potentially violent protests, barriers were erected in the streets near the court, and anti-riot police were deployed.
Among the handful of proposed amendments rejected by the Constitutional Council’s nine members was a so-called “senior index” aimed at encouraging enterprises with more than 1,000 employees to hire people over the age of 55.
The left-wing Nupes political alliance was among those who filed an appeal with the council against the amendments, and its leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, stated that the “fight” will continue.
“The Constitutional Council’s decision demonstrates that it is more concerned with the needs of the presidential monarchy than with the needs of the sovereign people,” he stated.
The far-right National Rally’s Marine Le Pen reacted on social media that “the political fate of the pension reform is not sealed.”