|Large strikes and marches taking place in France against the pension reform bill. (Photo: Le Monde Manh Ha, VOV's correspondent in France)
In an interview with the TF1 and France 2 TV channels on Wednesday, Macron said the pension reform bill was passed by a democratic process, though PM Elisabeth Borne had to use Article 49.3 of the Constitution to force the reform through Parliament without a vote against strong opposition from leftist, far-left, and far-right parties.
Macron said he hopes the Constitutional Council will soon approve the bill to ensure its enactment by the end of this year.
“When I began working, there were 10 million French pensioners and now there are 17 million. The number will increase to 20 million by 2030, so we can’t keep the old rules anymore. The longer we wait, the more the situation will deteriorate. Reform is necessary for the common interest," said Macron.
The French Interior Ministry said it will deploy 15,000 police officers across the country, the largest deployment in history, including 5,000 officers in Paris, to respond to protests.
According to France’s labor unions, large strikes took place simultaneously in many industrial fields on Thursday.