The reform of the pensions in France of the liberal president Emmanuel Macron enters this week in the final stretch, with an expected final vote on Thursday despite the popular and union rejection that called for new protests for Wednesday.
“We will not give up on our pension reform“, that “It is called to be adopted by both houses of Parliament”, said the government spokesman, Olivier Véran, on the LCI network this Monday, in full doubt as to whether they have the necessary majority.
The ruling party takes its adoption in the Senate for granted, which already gave its first approval over the weekend thanks to the support of the right-wing opposition, but it is more difficult for it to reach a majority in the Assembly (lower house), due to defections in favorable groups.
Although it claims to want to avoid it, the government could activate a controversial mechanism, known as article 49.3, to facilitate its adoption in the Assembly, an option that would heat an already tense environment and increase the image of “authoritarianMacron’s.
Two out of three French people, according to polls, oppose his plan to delay the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030 and to bring forward to 2027 the requirement to contribute 43 years (and not 42 until now) to collect a pension complete.
In that case, the only option to stop the reform would be to approve a vote of no confidence against the government of Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne. The respected independent deputy Charles de Courson has already warned that there are talks to present “motions”.
Although none of those filed against Borne have prospered, the activation of 49.3 would be a “terrible recognition of the failure of this government”, according to the environmental senator Guillaume Gontard, and “a democratic vice”, for Laurent Berger, from the CFDT union.
“There are rats and mice”
After massive demonstrations in January and February, the unions intensified their opposition to the reform last week with extendable strikes in key sectors such as transport and energy and new protests, which fizzled out on Saturday.
The movement of trains continues to be disrupted, although fewer trains were canceled on Monday than in previous days, and strikers continue to block fuel shipments at various refineries, such as the one in Fos-sur-Mer (southeast).
Image of this intensification of the pulse, more than 5,400 tons of garbage accumulated on Sunday in Paris, according to the mayor’s office, on the seventh day of the strike of the garbage collectors, who are seen as one of the groups most punished for the fact of working more years.
“they are absolutely right” from protesting, Romain Gaia, a 36-year-old pastry chef from central Paris, told AFP, nonetheless concerned about the effects of the mountains of garbage accumulated in the capital: “It’s terrible, there are rats and mice”.
The union centrals called for a new general strike and massive demonstrations on Wednesday, when seven deputies and seven senators must meet to agree on a joint text that both chambers must then vote on Thursday.
They have until March 26 to adopt the same text. If this is not achieved, the government could order the application of the reform, having chosen in January a controversial legislative procedure to present it.
Final approval does not imply the end of the response. Many unions are determined to continue for their withdrawal and Berger even urged the government to submit the reform to a referendum among citizens.
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