Vandals attack French politician’s office over pensions row

Protesters have vandalized the Nice office of the president of the Republicans party in an apparent threat to get his right-wing party to vote to block President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform

Vandals attack French politician's office over pensions row

PARIS — Protesters have vandalized the Nice office of the president of the Republicans party in an apparent threat to get his right-wing party to vote to block President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform.

Eric Ciotti tweeted a photo of his office in the French Riviera city with shattered windows, after a paving stone was thrown at it overnight into Sunday. The vandals also scrawled the words “the motion or the stone” — in reference to the motions of censure against the pension reform that will be voted on Monday in the National Assembly in Paris.

Amid weeks of mass protests over Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, Macron last week ordered Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to invoke a special constitutional power to skirt a vote in the lower chamber of parliament. In response, lawmakers at both ends of the political spectrum filed no-confidence motions against her Cabinet on Friday.

Ciotti had announced his party would not vote for either of the two motions of censure — meaning there would not be enough votes to stop the law.

Reacting to the vandals, Ciotti tweeted: “I will never give in to the new disciples of terror.”

Getting a no-confidence motion to pass will be challenging — none has succeeded since 1962, and Macron’s centrist alliance still has the most seats in the National Assembly. A minority of conservatives could stray from the Republicans party line, but it remains to be seen whether they’re willing to bring down Macron’s government.

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