He french senatethanks to majority right in the upper house, has supported the postponement of the minimum retirement age 62 to 64 years old, the main point of President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform. The vote, which lasted until early Thursday morning, came after Tuesday was the sixth day of demonstrations, the biggest since the beginning of the protests in January.

After midnight, 201 senators spoke in favor of which is already the well-known article 7 of the bill that increases by two years the age at which the French will have to wait to enforce their retirement rights, while 115 were against and 29 abstained.

The vote took place at the end of a parliamentary fight that went beyond the 15 hours long and in which that article was discussed, with the left that had introduced hundreds of amendments to obstruct the debate and the law resorted to an exceptional device which allows you to ignore them.

The Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt He was satisfied but cautious, aware that this partial evolution of his project is based on the support of the right, which will be essential for him to advance in the conciliation phase between the two parliamentary chambers.

Dussopt considered it to be “a vote of responsibility of the Senate, which opted to follow the Government”, and expressed the wish that all articles can be discussed and approved from now on deadline for processing in the Senate, at midnight on Sunday.

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But the big winner of the night was Bruno Retailleau, head of the parliamentary group of the classic right-wing party The Republicans, whose senators were the fundamental support of Article 7: 127 were in favor and only 2 against.

massive mobilizations

In addition to this vote and the parliamentary process, which could end next week, the big obstacle for Macron is the mass protests on the street organized by all unions together in a union unprecedented in France.

Last Tuesday, the biggest protest took place since the beginning of the mobilizations in January: 1.28 million peopleaccording to the Ministry of the Interior, or 3.5 millionAccording to the CGT, they took to the streets all over France and tried to stop the country.

Even though the plants did not paralyze the country -as they had announced-, they called for two new days of action, Saturday 11 and Wednesday 15 March and asked Macron to receive them urgently, from whom they are demanding the withdrawal of his pension reform project.

Meanwhile, strikes continue in some sectors, notably public transport and energy. Rail and air traffic is again interrupted this Thursday and today and tomorrow 20% of Charles de Gaulle flights will be canceled and 30% in Orly, as well as in Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse. What is more, garbage collection in cities like Paris will be irregular.

The workers of Total Energies ‍They voted by a majority to halt production at the Feyzin refinery near Lyon, hardening their strike, which until now had only blocked shipments from the center.

Opinion polls show that Majority of voters oppose President Macron’s plan to push the retirement age back to 64, but the government stands firm, saying policy change is essential to ensure the system doesn’t go bankrupt.