With a margin of just nine votes, the government of French President Emmanuel Macron was able to “fail” a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly on Monday.
Macron was backed by 278 MPs, just nine short of the 287 needed to succeed. And although everything seemed to end well for him in parliament, in connection with the extremely unpopular pension reform, strikes and protests will continue, which will become a serious challenge to the current government.
However, the failure of the vote of no confidence, notes Reuters, will be a relief for Macron. If it succeeded, it would sink the government and kill the law that would raise the retirement age by two years to 64. The government tried to push through extremely unpopular changes to the pension system bypassing the lower house.
A second vote of no confidence, by the far-right National Rally (RN), had no chance of passing as other opposition parties said they would not vote for it.
The failure of the centrist president to find enough support in parliament to get his pension reform to a vote undermined his reform agenda and weakened his leadership. Barclays analysts said the government will remain in power “albeit significantly weakened, while social protests against the reform are likely to continue for several weeks, which could negatively affect the French economy.”
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