More than 5,000 TONS of stinking garbage is piled up around Paris

Ewww la la! More than 5,000 TONS of stinking garbage is piled up around Paris, with streets smelling of rotting fish as strikes continue over Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms

  • Tension has been simmering over plans to increase retirement age from 62 to 64 
  • The unpopular bill that would raise the retirement age has got a push forward 
  • Uncollected garbage has piled up in Paris as workers go on strike amid plans 

The streets of Paris have been left smelling of rotting fish due to more than 5,000 tons of garbage piling up around the city as workers continue to strike over Emmanuel Macron’s hated pension reforms.

Tension continues to grow in the French capital – as demonstrated by violent protests last week – with millions furious at the president’s attempt to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The unpopular bill, which would put France’s retirement age more in line with its EU neighbours and the UK, got a push forward with the French Senate’s adoption of the measure, despite strikes and protests spiralling out of control.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne tweeted late on Saturday after the 195-112 vote that she looked forward to the bill’s definitive passage to ‘assure the future of our retirement’ system. 

But as furious labour unions oppose the bill, Paris City Call confirmed some 5,400 tons of garbage have piled up around the capital, while other cities are facing similar problems as binmen continue to strike. Services in other sectors, such as energy and transportation, have also been affected previously.

Paris City Hall confirmed that some 5,400 tons of garbage is piled up across Paris as strikes continue

Millions in France are furious at President Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64

As binmen continue to strike, the smell of rotting fish and other food has wafted across the city

Uncollected garbage overflowing into pavements near the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

The vast amount of garbage has also been spotted in front of the building where the Senate meets. The stench of rotting fish and other food wafted in the wind, especially around some restaurants. 

News outlet CNews quoted Colombe Brossel, deputy mayor for sanitation, as saying the problem was mainly due to blocked incinerators.

The showcase legislation of President Macron – which carries risks for the government – must now move through tricky political territory with multiple potential outcomes.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne called a Sunday night meeting and ordered ministers to seek a consensus among lawmakers in the days ahead.

The government hopes it won’t need to resort to a special constitutional option that would force the pension reform through without a vote. Borne has used that mechanism 10 times before, and invoking it for the politically delicate retirement issue could trigger a no-confidence motion.

Olivier Veran, a spokesman for the government, stressed after the meeting that they want to avoid employing the constitutional option. But when questioned, he added, ‘We won’t renounce our reform of the retirement’ plan.

Paris is set for further misery as Unions have planed more strikes and an eighth round of nationwide protests on Wednesday, the day the pension bill heads to a committee of seven senators and seven lower-house lawmakers.

Strikes are expected to continue as unions fail to back down over Macron’s showcase reforms

Bins and uncollected garbage bags have been spotted overflowing onto the roads of Paris

Parisian residents have been forced to walk past overflowing garbage as protests spiral out of control

On Tuesday, 1.28million people took to the streets in demonstrations across the country, the highest turnout in the sixth day of protest against the reform this year. 

The joint committee is tasked with finding a compromise between the Senate and National Assembly versions of the legislation.

Parliamentary approval would give a large measure of legitimacy to the pension plan, the reason the government hopes to refrain from invoking its special constitutional power to pass the bill.

But there are multiple scenarios before the legislation could become law, making its path uncertain.

If the committee reaches an accord Wednesday, the approved text would be voted on the following day in both the Senate and the National Assembly. 

However, the outcome in the National Assembly, where Macron’s centrist alliance lost its majority last year, is hard to predict.

Violence erupted on the streets of Paris on Tuesday as thousands took to the streets across France to protest against pension reforms

Protestors threw objects at police officers and set fire to food in trolleys during a demonstration in Lyon, central France, on Tuesday

If the committee does not reach an agreement, the bill would likely return to the National Assembly for more debate and a vote, then get considered by the Senate before going back to the Assembly.

Prime Minister Borne tweeted her optimism that the measure would be ‘definitively adopted in the coming days.’ 

Macron has not yet responded to a union request for a ‘citizens’ consultation’ on the legislation.

Unions maintain that French people are voting their opposition to the reform in the streets and through strikes. Protests on Saturday drew far fewer people than a previous round of marches on Tuesday.

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