Macron Urges for Year-end Implementation of Controversial French Pension Program After Multiple French Cars Burned

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that the pension bill he pushed through without a vote in parliament needs to be implemented by the “end of the year,” sticking to his decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 despite mass protests.

When the United States of America lived what they lived at the Capitol, when Brazil lived what it lived, when you have seen extreme violence in Germany, The Netherlands, or sometimes here at home in the past … we must say that we do respect (peaceful protesters), we do listen, we’re trying to move the country forward … but we cannot accept factious people nor factions,” he said.

Macron acknowledged that a majority of the French are opposed to the reform. “But between opinion polls and the general interest of the country, I’m choosing the general interest … And if it means bearing unpopularity afterwards, I will bear it.”

He also said he “trusts” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to continue leading the government, suggesting he is not planning a government reshuffle.

The stubborn attitude by Macron may lead to more protests in France, as residents take to the streets and burn French cars. 

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