French PM defends contested pension reform as ‘compromise’

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne delivering a speech prior to the vote of two motions of no confidence at the French National Assembly. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS – French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday defended her government’s controversial pension reform as a compromise, as it faced two no-confidence motions over her use of powers allowing the adoption of the law without a vote in Parliament.

“We never went so far in building a compromise as we did with this reform,” she told Parliament, saying her use of the article to bypass a vote was “profoundly democratic” under France’s Constitution set up by post-war leader Charles de Gaulle.

Deputies then went into a room adjoining the National Assembly chamber to vote on the two separate motions of no-confidence in the government.

Results were expected to be swiftly announced by the speaker at 1800 GMT.

“If you want to topple the government, now is your chance,” Ms Borne told deputies at the conclusion of her speech, accusing the opposition of “anti-parliamentary behaviour in all its facets”. AFP

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