WATCH: Macron Proclaims to ‘Regret Nothing’ as Fiery Protests Spread Across France Despite Police Ban

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 18: A firefighter extinguishes a fire set by protesters in the stree
Firas Abdullah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Paris saw its third straight night of violent chaos, with clashes breaking out between the police and the people and fires being set across the French capital, as President Macron claimed he “has no regrets” about sparking the largest mass mobilisation since the Yellow Vests after he used a loophole to pass through his retirement age raise without a vote.

At least 81 people were arrested in Paris as violent protests and riots broke out once again on Saturday evening; the third protest of its kind since Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne — the second-highest official in France besides Macron himself — saw the minority globalist government use article 49.3 of the constitution to approve legislation to raise the pension age from 62 to 64 without a vote after it became clear that it might not receive majority support in the National Assembly.

After two nights of violence, on Saturday afternoon the Paris police announced a ban on protesters gathering around the Champs-Élysées and the Place de la Concorde, where protesters burned an effigy of President Macron.

Some chanted that they could “decapitate” the leader just like the French Revolution did to King Louis XVI.

Police also tried to limit the number of protesters by shutting down several subway stations near the Champs-Élysées for “security measures”, Le Figaro reported.

Protestors instead met at the Place d’Italie, on the opposite side of the river Seine. On social media users shared a poster featuring a picture of Macron standing in front of fires with the Eiffel Tower in the background, calling on people to protest “until the government falls”.

Once again, footage on social media showed rioters clashing with police, and setting fires to the tonnes of garbage that have festooned the streets of the capital in the wake of a trash collector strike. Violent and chaotic scenes were also recorded across the country, with protests breaking out in Brest, Bordeaux, and Nantes, among others.

It also appeared that police were ‘unleashed’ on Saturday, with footage showing officers violently engaging and tackling seemingly peaceful protesters.

Trade union activists have also kept up their pressure on oil and gas refineries throughout the nation, with several of the nation’s largest producers being severely limited by street blockades

Despite the nationwide backlash against the move to pass the retirement age increase, Mr Macron said on Saturday that he “regrets nothing” in trying to attempt to ram through the pension reform plans, which he argued were necessary in order to prevent the retirement programme from going bust.

Leftist trade unions and politicians, however, have argued that the wealthy should pay more in taxes to fund the scheme and have branded the former Rothschild banker as the president of the rich for refusing to do so.

The invocation of article 49.3 to push through the legislation has not only resulted in widespread protests but has also threatened to bring down the government itself.

On Friday, both left and right-wing parties in the National Assembly tabled motions of no-confidence in the government, with a vote expected to take place on Monday.

It is currently unclear if Marine Le Pen’s right-wing populist National Rally, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s far-left NUPES coalition, and the Liot group will have enough votes together to pass the no-confidence measure, with them being about 30 votes shy of the 287 required to force the resignation of Prime Minister Elisabeth Born and the collapse of the government.

It will once again, therefore, be down to the establishment-right Les Republicains party, which was pivotal in preventing the government from gaining a majority vote for its pension rise plans in the National Assembly.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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