PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron will face votes of noconfidence on Monday, after his decision to force through unpopular pension reforms sparked protests across the country and criticism from lawmakers. Macron’s government is likely to survive the motions, and he will remain president regardless of the result, although the anger against the reforms shows no sign of ending. The French government triggered special constitutional powers on Thursday to push through the controversial legislation to raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64 for most workers. On Friday, French lawmakers filed two motions of noconfidence against the Prime Minister – one from a grouping of small parties, and one from National Rally, a far-right party. In order to be successful, the majority of sitting lawmakers – 287 of them – would need to vote in favor. If successful, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne would have to resign and the pension reform legislation would be rejected.
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This would leave French President Emmanuel Macron with the option to either replace the prime minister or dissolve the parliament. The move to oust Macron’s government is believed to be unlikely to succeed, however, since the pension reforms also have the support of the Republican party, making it harder for the rest of the opposition parties to get the absolute majority needed. “There will be no majority for these votes of no confidence. Responsibly, we do not want to add chaos to chaos and let our country sink into disorder,” the leader of the Republican group Eric Ciotti tweeted. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also downplayed suggestions that the vote might be successful. “There will be no majority to bring the government down, but it will be a moment of truth,” Le Maire told local news outlet Le Parisien. “I understand our countrymen’s fears and anxieties, but we will definitely not improve things by denying economic reality,” he added.
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