Opposition MPs walk out as French PM addresses National Assembly

STORY: President Emmanuel Macron's government narrowly survived a no confidence motion in the National Assembly on Monday, after bypassing the lower house to push through a deeply unpopular change to the pension system.

Some 278 MPs voted in favor of a tripartisan, no confidence motion tabled by a centrist party and others, just nine short of the 287 needed for it to succeed.

A second motion of no confidence, tabled by the far-right National Rally (RN), had no chance of going through later on Monday as other opposition parties said they would not vote for it.

A successful no-confidence vote would have sunk the government and killed the legislation, which is set to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.

Union and protesters, angry with the reform and with the fact that the pension reform was adopted without a vote, said they would carry on with strikes and protests.

Speaking in parliament before the vote, Borne said "These are lawmakers who are denying their role in parliament and are claiming that the streets are more legitimate than the institutions."