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France: Protesters in Nantes Decry Govt. Decision to Push Through Pension Reform

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Nantes on Tuesday, to decry the French government’s decision to push through its pension reform bill by decree without a parliamentary vote.

Protesters carrying union flags, banners and signs could be seen marching from the city’s prefecture. A heavy police presence could also be spotted overseeing the march.

“The 49/3 is really a shame to stage a reform this way, mostly because it is a reform that concerns all workers, a reform that’s very unequal. Me, as a woman, as a young person, -well, young, it depends, everything is relative,- but I find that’s deeply unfair and I am waiting for the government to review its position,” said protester Lodi, who also voiced her concerns of being “tired of the system and the government” that do not listen to the workers’ demands.

“I am against this anomaly called 49/3 that is not at all democratic for me, it’s an anomaly in the republic in fact. For me, the debate can last a very long time. It’s important, it’s our children’ future, it is our future, it’s the future of our society,” added Alain.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe employed Article 49-3 of the French constitution to “end the non-debate” over pension reform, according to reports.

The government’s pension reform bill, which ignited one of the largest waves of protests in French history, began being debated in the National Assembly on the 17th of February. The reform aims to unite 42 specific pension regimes into a single points-based system.

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