Macron Government Bypasses France’s National Assembly to Pass Pension Overhaul.

PARIS—The government of French President Emmanuel Macron invoked a special provision of France’s constitution Thursday to bypass parliament and increase the country’s retirement age, an act of defiance that escalates the leader’s standoff with street protesters and opposition lawmakers.
The use of Article 49 of the French constitution allows the Macron government to enact a contentious overhaul of France’s pension system after it struggled to cobble together enough votes in Parliament. But the maneuver comes at a high political price: Protesters and opposition parties that have painted Mr. Macron as an authoritarian now have more ammunition to mobilize the masses.
“We can’t take any chances with the future of our pensions,” said French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, speaking before a rowdy session of the National Assembly, the lower house of France’s parliament. Dozens of lawmakers sang France’s national anthem and heckled Ms. Borne as she invoked Article 49.
France has been gripped by months of demonstrations and paralyzing strikes aimed at forcing Mr. Macron to ditch the overhaul, which raises the country’s retirement age to 64 from 62. Public-sector workers have walked off the job in droves, shuttering classrooms and stalling public transport. Trash has been piling up in the streets of Paris, as garbage collectors have refused to remove the waste until Mr. Macron relents.
Philippe Martinez, head of the far-left CGT union, said there would be no letup in the turmoil if the Macron government invoked Article 49. “This will on the contrary reinvigorate the protest movement, the strikes,” he said.

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