Despite the new riots on the streets of Paris, the pension reform bill has been signed into law by Emmanuel Macron.
President Emmanuel Macron has signed into law the French government’s controversial pension reforms, despite the riots that erupted in Paris and other places on Thursday and Friday.
Many protesters had hoped that the French Constitutional Court would reject the legislation or require a referendum, as they believed that the bill’s content violated the country’s constitution.
Still, as per a report from Le Figaro, the legal entity has stated that the vast majority of points contained in the law were indeed constitutional.
The judges only invalidated a few less contentious parts of the bill, which were added in an attempt to appease the opposition.
The news sparked spontaneous protests in Paris, some of which turned violent, leading to over 100 arrests by the police in connection to the unrest in the city.
Despite the violence, Macron appeared undeterred and promptly made the bill official by signing the reforms into law early on Saturday morning.
Although the reforms have now become official law in France, trade unions in the country remain determined to oppose the legislation, believing that they can still pressure for the changes to be revoked.
“It’s not over,” one of the major unions involved in the regular mass protests declared, the organization claiming that pulling the legislation would be the only way for the government to “calm the anger” in France.
The extent of the anger was evident on the streets of Paris on Friday, as protesters clashed with the police and set fire to bins in response to the Constitutional Court’s decision that the legislation was in accordance with French law.
According to reports, protests against the decision also occurred in Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes, Lille, Dijon, Caen, and Strasbourg.
The actions of the protesters in Rennes sparked particular outrage, as footage surfaced showing several individuals stacking bins in front of the entrance to a historic monastery in the city and then setting them ablaze.
“The degradations and attacks this evening in Rennes, against a police station and the Couvent des Jacobins (monastery), by thugs determined to fight it out are unacceptable,” French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin wrote online, expressing full support for the French police.
However, French law enforcement agencies also faced criticisms on Saturday morning, as several videos emerged online depicting officers using high-powered flashlights to blind journalists.
“Police officers dazzling several journalists for long minutes to disrupt the recording of images,” one journalist wrote online, adding such skullduggery from law enforcement against reporters in the country “often happens.”