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Protesters blocked the streets of Paris with fires and clashed with riot police after French President Emmanuel Macron successfully passed a controversial pension reform without a vote.

Images from the French capital and across the country show dissidents smashing windows and getting pepper spray between burning piles of rubbish.

A strike by garbage collectors in response to the proposals has lasted 15 days, causing bins to overflow and rubbish to pile up in the streets.

The pension law, which raises the retirement age in France from 62 to 64, becomes law after the government survives two no-confidence votes.

The first motion, introduced by a coalition of centrist MPs, had 278 votes but needed 287 to pass — meaning the president came within nine votes to name a new government or call new elections.

A second application from the right-wing extremist party Rallye National also failed by a much larger margin.

Since both preventive measures have failed, a law is passed to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64.

News of the failed vote sparked more fierce anti-government protests in Paris, where demonstrations have been held since the president said he would bypass the National Assembly to pass the reforms.

A firefighter clears a pile of burning rubbish outside the Opéra Garnier in Paris last night (Photo: Getty Images)

Gendarmes secure the area after the evacuation of access to the oil terminal in Donges, western France, earlier today (Image: AFP)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by BLONDET/POOL/SIPA/Shutterstock (13831627c) French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the closing of the States General for Diplomacy at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris, France, March 16, 2023. Closure of the States General of Diplomacy - Paris, France - March 16, 2023

Emmanuel Macron came within nine votes after he had to name a new government or call an election (Photo: Shutterstock)

Far-left MPs are expressing their dissatisfaction in the National Assembly by holding signs reading “64 years, it’s no” (Photo: AP).

There was also anger in parliament. When the results of the first motion were read out, MPs from the left-wing opposition held up notes reading “We continue”, “Meeting in the street” and “RIP”.

Far-left politician Mathilde Panot said: “Only nine votes are missing… to overthrow both the government and its reforms.

“The government is already dead in the eyes of the French, it no longer has any legitimacy.”

MP Charles de Courson, whose centrist allies introduce the first vote of no confidence, said: “How can we accept such contempt for Parliament?

“How can we accept such terms to explore a text that will have a lasting impact on the lives of millions of our fellow citizens?”

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne addresses lawmakers at the National Assembly in Paris on Monday, March 20, 2023. The French government is fighting for its survival on Monday against a vote of no confidence from lawmakers furious that President Emmanuel Macron used special constitutional powers to to pass an unpopular bill raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without giving them a vote.  (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne was harassed in parliament by people chanting ‘resign’ (Photo: AP)

Trade unionists gather in front of an entrance to the cleaning service center CETCO - Center Technique Communautaire, during a strike action, near Le Havre, North West France, March 20, 2023. - The government of French President Emmanuel Macron faces two parliamentary votes on March 20, 2023 of distrust in 2018 over an unpopular pension reform that has sparked widespread protests and political unrest.  (Photo by Lou BENOIST/AFP) (Photo by LOU BENOIST/AFP via Getty Images)

Striking union members gather in front of the cleaning center near Le Havre (Photo: Getty Images)

A person walks past a fire lit during a demonstration on the day the National Assembly will debate and vote on two no-confidence motions in the French government proposed by the Liot center group and the far-right Rassemblement National party over the use of Article 49.3, a special clause in the French constitution, to bring the pension reform law to the National Assembly in Paris, France on March 20, 2023, without a vote from the legislators.  REUTERS/Yves Herman

Much of the rubbish piled up by the strike was set on fire in Paris (Photo: Reuters)

While anger over the issue has been simmering since the proposals were announced, it boiled over last week when Mr Macron urged Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne to invoke a special constitutional power called Article 49:3 to make a to demand a preventive vote.

The measure essentially allows the French government to pass a bill without the approval of the National Assembly after deliberation at a cabinet meeting.

However, it also allows MPs to table a vote of no confidence, which would mean rejecting the text and forcing the government to resign.

Macron’s maneuvers were necessary after the president lost his parliamentary majority in last year’s elections.

He has argued that the reforms are necessary to prevent France’s aging pension system from becoming unaffordable.

The first motion, which had the only chance of passing, was thwarted by the conservative Republican Party’s decision not to support it.

Group leader Olivier Marleix said: “We recognize the need for reforms to save our pension system and protect the purchasing power of retirees.”