French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday said she was confident there would be a majority in parliament to vote a reform that will see the French work two years more to 64 before being entitled to a pension.
“A majority exists, that is not afraid of reforms, even unpopular ones, when they are necessary,” Borne told the lower house of parliament. France is hit by rolling strikes against the pension reform , with key refineries blocked, railway transport disrupted and garbage piling up on the streets of Paris and other French cities.
President Emmanuel Macron’s camp does not have an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament and depends on the vote of lawmakers from other groups – with a lot of questions raised over the past days over whether the numbers would add up. One option would be to resort to a procedure, known as 49:3, which would allow the government to push the text through parliament without a vote, but that would risk further angering voters.
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“With my government, we are fully committed so that in the next few days, a majority votes for pension reform,” Borne told lawmakers. The next step, scheduled for Wednesday, is the convening of a joint committee of lower and upper house lawmakers to agree on a definitive version of the text. That day, unions plan a new day of strikes and protests.