The majority is still looking for the right tempo on pension reform

This is a bit of the history of macronism, at least since the crisis of “yellow vests”. Made of back and forth, between excess of “Jupiterism”, promise of a new, more consensual method, and, ultimately, new vertical decisions when we see a political interest in them. In this respect, the hypothesis of the pension reform not going through a law, but through simple amendments during the debate on the Finance Bill of the Social Security 2023 (PLFSS), is on the table. And only a few days later that Emmanuel Macron launched its National Council of Refoundation, supposed to be the vehicle for the transformation of Jupiter into Vulcan (the one who “forges” compromises).

Passing the pension reform faster than expected via a text that has every chance of benefiting from the help of 49.3 (adoption by blocked vote), while discussions with the unions are barely beginning, that does not very “new method”. The promoters of the approach do not hide the fact that this is above all a tactical weapon, in an Assembly where the majority is, moreover, only relative. “We think it’s easier today than in three months,” says a pure Macronist MP. There is not the long-awaited warm social return because the effects of the purchasing power package are there, unemployment is falling. While at the start of 2023 there will be rising energy prices, less growth and stress on power outages…”

Pin the unions

Perhaps also it is more difficult for the unions to mobilize their troops now rather than at the beginning of next year. But the deputy quoted above does not believe in a movement comparable to that of the end of 2019-beginning of 2020, during the reform project by points. “The old reform was design to fail, impossible to explain! Already, working longer is stressful, but then in addition, when you don’t understand what is going to happen to you… It was the main point of the social movement of the time, he believes. This time it’s very simple. »

Except that this tactic is far from unanimous within the majority. First and foremost to the MoDem, which went very hard. On the one hand via its president, François Bayrou, who said in The Parisian “opposed to the passage in force”, the very day of the creation of Renaissance, the new party of Emmanuel Macron. Then by Jean-Paul Mattei, the president of the parliamentary group, who announced that his deputies would vote “certainly against” these famous amendments.

Legitimist Philip

A position that does not worry more than that at Renaissance (RE), where we only see there “the postcard that the MoDem sends every six months”. “The MoDem is more interested in the content than in the form of this reform. If we make them happy on the merits, it can pass, ”believes the deputy RE already quoted. If he recognizes that going through the PLFSS 2023 will undoubtedly leave less time for parliamentary debate, he wants to play down the issues: “We have been talking about this reform for thirty years, we have talked about it throughout the campaign”

On the Horizon side, if some were able to express doubts in private about the calendar, Edouard Philippe was very clear last week in front of Elisabeth Borne, to the point of astonishing certain macronists: “We will be behind you […] whether you choose to do it in October, December, March, whenever you want, we will be there. »

It creaks even in the macronist party

More serious are the shocks that come from the Macronist party itself, where the method is not unanimous either. We say the Prime Minister reserved. And above all, this Thursday morning, the President of the Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, opposed the maneuver. “It is certain that there is an accumulation of declarations which seems to tilt the room towards the beginning of next year, believes an RE deputy close to the president and favorable to the amendments. If it creates absolute drama, there’s no point in moving the schedule forward…”

A decision should be taken before the Council of Ministers scheduled for Monday, believe several majority sources. Moreover, we seem to be preparing for an exit, if not of controversy, in any case of controversy. The president himself instructed the government to “find the right maneuver with Parliament”, in an interview with BFMTV.

“We must return to the substantive debate. What interests people is to know what will be in this reform, ”asks the spokesperson for the RE group, Maud Bregeon, conceding that in recent days, we have talked more about the container than the content. Because she knows that on the content of the reform, this time, the majority will be unanimous.

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The majority is still looking for the right tempo on pension reform


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