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French National Assembly speaker refuses to allow vote to overturn unpopular pension law

French National Assembly Speaker Yael Braun-Pivet

France's National Assembly Speaker Yael Braun-Pivet has ruled out an opposition-sponsored motion to cast vote on repealing the unpopular pension law that divided the nation and sparked social unrest across the country.

Braun-Pivet firmly declared on Wednesday that she would not allow the motion to overturn the new law to be debated and put to vote on Thursday, as scheduled. 

"There will be no reversal of the pension reform. I will declare that the amendments proposed are not valid," she said during an interview with the local BFM television.

The highly controversial bill aimed at raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 triggered numerous violent protest rallies and strikes across France for the past several months. 

Back in March, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne pushed the bill through the National Assembly without a vote, using a special constitutional measure only to further infuriate the opposition, which accused the government of ignoring the rights of parliament members.

Despite the raging rallies against the bill, French President Emmanuel Macron finally signed it into law on April 16.

Although the opposition-sponsored motion to repeal the pension law is unlikely to succeed since the Senate stands against the reversal, a majority vote favoring the repeal in the lower chamber will mark a major embarrassment for Macron.

Paris claims that without the new law, the pension system would record an annual deficit of 13.5 billion euros ($14.44 billion) by 2030.

The development came after more than 280,000 people took to the streets across the European country on Tuesday for the 14th time this year.

Clashes erupted between protesters and police in Nantes as demonstrators marched across the western French city, throwing projectiles at riot police who fired tear gas canisters at them.

Members of the hard-left CGT trade union briefly occupied the headquarters of the Paris Summer 2024 Olympics. BFM television images showed the protesters entering the building in Aubervilliers, northern Paris.

Trade unions hoped the mass rally would pile further pressure on lawmakers, prompting them to reconsider the pension reform act and hold another vote on it.

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