UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS; EDITS THROUGHOUT; CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK
By Nur Asena Erturk
ANKARA (AA) – The French government's controversial pension reform will be adopted unless the opposition calls a censure motion until 1400GMT on Friday.
President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday decided to use Article 49.3 of the constitution to adopt the controversial draft bill without a vote in parliament.
After it was adopted by the Senate, the final version of the draft bill was supposed to be transferred to parliament, which was set to start debating it in the afternoon.
However, Macron held meetings with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, other ministers, and the parliamentary group heads of the political parties to decide whether to use Article 49.3 to bypass the parliamentary process, daily Le Figaro reported.
After the decision, Borne reached parliament to give a speech and invoke Article 49.3, which angered the opposition members of the parliament – who previously said they would call a censure motion if Article 49.3 was triggered.
The government does not have the absolute majority in the parliament, so it would have risked seeing its draft bill rejected by the members of parliament – hence Macron's decision – if Article 49.3 had not been invoked.
The reform plan includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 in 2030 and requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for full pensions.
It has triggered public outrage since it was revealed last year. Nationwide protests and strikes have been held since January.