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French gov't undercuts Senate on retirement bill

 Students demonstrate in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting you...
 A student encourages others during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled con...
 A student shouts slogans during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct.21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concert...
 Students carry banners calling for a change in government policy on retirement, during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters b...
 A student shouts slogans during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct.21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concert...
 Students demonstrate in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting you...

France Retirement Strikes

Students demonstrate in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting you...

France Retirement Strikes

A student encourages others during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled con...

France retirement Strikes

A student shouts slogans during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct.21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concert...

France Retirement Strikes

Students carry banners calling for a change in government policy on retirement, during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters b...

APTOPIX France retirement Strikes

A student shouts slogans during a demonstration in Paris, Thursday Oct.21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concert...

France Retirement Strikes

Students demonstrate in Paris, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting you...

The French government is short-circuiting a protracted debate in the Senate on a bill raising the retirement age to 62, brushing aside some 250 amendments.
Faced with widespread protests against the bill, the government is ordering Senators to vote on a package of its own design, using Article 44-3 of the Constitution that allows it to step into the parliamentary debate.
Senators can still present the remaining 250 amendments _ of some 1,000 _ but they cannot vote on each one.
Labor Minister Eric Woerth said Thursday the debate is in the third week, and "it's time for the Senate to act."
A Senate vote is expected by week's end. The text then goes to a parliamentary committee before returning to each chamber for a final vote next week.