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Macron To Address The Nation Wednesday After Censure Motion Falls Short


French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver a televised address to the nation at 1300CET (0800ET/1200GMT) on Wednesday 22 March, 48 hours after two separate no confidence votes failed to oust the gov't in a day of high drama in the National Assembly. The first censure motion proposed by the centrist LIOT group fell just nine votes short, with 278 deputies voting in favour of the gov'ts removal, under the 287 absolute majority required. The vote was much closer than anticipated, with 19 of the 61 centre-right Les Republicains (LR) deputies defying party orders and voting to remove the gov't.

  • Following the failure of the motions (only far-right Rassemblement National deputies voted for the motion put forward by their party), Macron has 10 days to sign the pension reforms into law.
  • Over 200 individuals were arrested overnight following demonstrations against the gov't that turned violent. The actions of the gov't in using Article 49.3 of the French constitution to push through controversial pension reforms without a vote in parliament has seen protests on the streets of major cities for several nights.
  • These have merged with the ongoing strikes in major industries and public services including railway workers, refuse collectors, and oil/petrol refinery staff resulting in some shortages of fuel, as well as rubbish building up in the streets and a crippled public transit sector. A major 'day of action' is planned for 23 March, risking further civil unrest.

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