French reforms: Macron refuses to give way as pension protests escalate

March 23, 2023 8:32 am

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has given a defiant defence of his decision to force through a rise in the pension age, in the face of protests across France and two no-confidence votes.

“This reform isn’t a luxury, it’s not a pleasure, it’s a necessity,” he said.

Protesters have been emboldened by the government’s use of constitutional power to ram through reforms without a vote in the National Assembly.

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A ninth round of strikes and national protests will take place on Thursday.

There have been six nights of demonstrations involving hundreds of arrests in a number of cities.