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The Guardian view on ruling by decree in France: deepening the trust deficit | Editorial

President Macron’s decision to force through his pension reforms without a vote damages French democracy

A few months before sweeping to power in the 2017 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron published a memoir-cum-personal manifesto, Revolution. In it, he made the case for rebellion against allegedly outmoded institutions and ideas that were holding back France. Six years on, it is the popular revolts against Mr Macron’s own policies which have taken centre-stage.

Recent months have seen some of the largest protests in the history of the Fifth Republic, as Mr Macron has sought to push through a deeply unpopular plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. On Monday, his government survived a related parliamentary motion of no confidence by the skin of its teeth. This followed the president’s controversial – though constitutional – decision to use executive powers to get his way, bypassing a vote in the national assembly that he thought he might lose.

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