French Senate votes for Macron's pension plan

STORY: The French Senate on Saturday night (March 11) adopted President Emmanuel Macron's unpopular pension reform plan.

That in the wake of a seventh day of demonstrations, that were not as large as authorities had expected.

195 members of the French Parliament's upper house voted for the text, whose key measure is raising the retirement age by two years to 64.

112 voted against.

The protests - and rolling strikes that have affected refineries, public transport and garbage collections - aimed to pressure the government to withdraw the pension plan.

But the government believes the change is essential to ensure the pension system does not run out of money.

Now that the Senate has adopted the bill, it will be reviewed by a joint committee of lower and upper house lawmakers, likely on Wednesday - when an additional day of nationwide strikes and protests are planned.

Providing the committee agrees on a text, a final vote in both chambers will take place.

If the government fears it won't have enough votes in the lower house, where Macron's party still needs allies' votes for a majority, it is still possible they could push the text through without a parliamentary vote.