On the 16th, the French national anthem rang out in a chorus of lawmakers in the French House of Representatives (**assemblée nationale, translated as "National Assembly", but referred to as the House of Representatives in France's upper and lower house system). Here's the process.

On that day, the French parliament was scheduled to vote on a pension reform bill that would extend the retirement age for French people, who are currently 62 years old, by two years until 2030 when they quit their jobs and start receiving state-paid salaries, to 64. The day before, a joint committee of the House and Senate prepared the final draft of the bill after more than eight hours of closed-door meetings, and in the morning, the Senate passed it by 2 votes in favor and 8 against. Passing a House vote, scheduled for 193 p.m., would be the moment to finalize legislation on pension reform.

But around noon that day, President Macron called an emergency cabinet meeting. Prime ministers and ministers gathered one after another at the Elysee Palace, where the president's office is located. A meeting was held to discuss whether the French government should invoke Article 114, Section 3 of the Constitution. Article 49 (3) of the Constitution, which provides that the government can legislate in urgent circumstances without a parliamentary vote, was said to be unlikely to be voted down if the Pension Reform Bill was voted on in the House of Representatives.

In the 49-seat French lower house, the ruling party currently has 3 seats and the right-wing Republican Party, which favors pension reform, has 577 seats, giving the two parties a combined majority, but the negative public opinion on pension reform in French civil society is so strong that several Republican lawmakers, who are sensitive to public opinion, will vote "no."

While the prime minister was moving to the House of Commons after a meeting at the Elysee Palace, news broke in the media that Macron's government had finally decided to invoke Article 250, Section 61 of the Constitution. Arriving in the House of Commons, the prime minister took the podium and said in a firm and confident tone that the pension reform bill must be passed and that the government would take full responsibility for invoking Article 49(3) of the Constitution.

"With just a few uncertain votes (in today's scheduled vote), we cannot risk the outcome of 175 hours of parliamentary debate being ruined. We cannot risk that the outcome of the agreement reached by the House and Senate will be rendered useless. You can't gamble on the future of our pension system. Because this reform is necessary.

While the prime minister stayed at the podium, opposition lawmakers opposed to the government's pension reform proposal booed with a piece of paper that read '64, that's not possible', and some even left in the middle of their speech. And the singing of the national anthem together was broadcast live across France on TV. The French national anthem, also known as La Marseillaise, was created during the French Revolution in 1792 and became famous when volunteers from Marseille entered Paris in an uprising on August 8 of that year. It ended up being the national anthem of France. The lyrics have a revolutionary vibe that makes people's blood boil.

To strike us, that tyrant raised a
flag ......
They have come to the chin,
to cut the throat of your virgin.

Arm yourselves, citizens!
Align the Daeoh!
Forward, forward!
Let that filthy blood wet
our furrows.

That night, in the Place de la Concorde in downtown Paris, citizens gathered to protest the government's handling of the pension reform bill. The number of people who began gathering one by one after work quickly reached 1,2. They call President Macron a "tyrant" or a "dictator." Because they don't listen to the voice of the people. He describes President Macron as "two more years to get a pension" as "a tyrant who has slashed the throat of his wife (to take away her most precious thing)." Flames erupted at the protest site, and a replica of President Macron was thrown into the flames.

Enlarge the image

Opposition parties opposed to the pension reform will submit a motion of no confidence in the cabinet the day after the government announced it would invoke Article 49(3) of the Constitution, with a vote expected as early as next week. Right now, Republicans are skeptical of the no-confidence bill, so it's unlikely to pass, but lawmakers everywhere are bound to be sensitive to public opinion, so we can't rule out the possibility of a breakaway vote. Macron's enemies have multiplied in parliament and on the streets, and local media say he is facing a political crisis like he has never experienced.

Daniele Obono, a lawmaker from the left-wing opposition France party that does not give in, said Macron had won a 'Pyrrhus victory' (a victory whose losses were too great and had no real benefit) and that the government's decision would "continue the harm and rapidly worsen the crisis." President Macron, who has already abandoned pension reform once in the face of public opposition in his first term, has said he will never back down this time.

Even if this law passes, will he face "a victory with no real benefit because the losses are too great"? Does "loss" refer to the damage that the ruling party will suffer in the next election or the social cost that France will have to pay? Does "real profit" refer to the benefit that Macron as a politician will take, or to the benefit that France will get? Whether Macron will win or, if he does, whether that victory will be a "victory for Pyrrhus" will be answered by the coming history of France.