Emmanuel Macron has a serious outlook for the remaining four years of his mandate: 70% of the French do not like him, he is losing support in an increasingly hostile Assembly; In the streets of Paris, stick figures with his face are burned and banners are waved where he is sent to the guillotine and is compared to King Louis XVI. The opposition and the street describe him as authoritarian and arrogant and accuse him of destroying democracy and contempt for the French.
His determination to carry out the unpopular pension reform at all costs, despite having the country against it, throws up this scene. The president met yesterday with his government and allied groups in Parliament (Renaissance, his party, and Horizons and Modem) to see what steps to follow after narrowly overcoming on Monday the motions of no confidence against the controversial reform of he.
For the moment, both Macron and the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, have played down the importance of the fact that the motion was only nine votes away from succeeding and, therefore, from overthrowing the reform and the Government. The last censorship, presented in October, had 239 supports. The one on Monday: 287. Several dozen votes that illustrate the decline of the Government in the Hemicycle.
The decision to approve the pension reform by decree, without a parliamentary vote, has France on the brink of cataclysm. There is chaos in the Assembly, which is increasingly polarized and where the Government is more alone. There is chaos in the streets, more and more inflamed, with thousands of people demonstrating every day throughout the country and more radicals burning garbage and lighting containers.
"Macron is facing a very difficult situation, of blockade, which is unprecedented in the Fifth Republic and from which it is difficult for him to come out well, whatever he does," political scientist Luc Rouban, from Sciences Po, explains to EL MUNDO.
To survive in the long term, the president needs a new short-term strategy. Today he will address the French on television to try to calm things down and advance some ideas, although for the moment he rules out dissolving the Assembly, changing the Government or calling a referendum on pension reform, according to collaborators present at the meetings he held. yesterday.
Neither option is good for him. Dissolving the Assembly and calling new elections is the least. Without a majority since the last legislative, he has two oppositions in the seats: the radical left and the radical right. "His game of him would have bad results and would give more power to these poles," says the expert.
Macron runs the risk of becoming an immobile president, unable to carry out the rest of the reforms he plans due to a lack of support in the Assembly. "He could look for circumstantial majorities", says Rouban. "Trying to agree on the reforms with the left or the right, as it suits him, although it is complicated, his opposition is growing."
Another way out is to change the government and the prime minister. She would allow him to turn the page, sacrificing the visible face of this reform. Yesterday, in the meeting she had with his government, Borne made it clear that she is going to resist. "I would not change anything fundamental. The problem is not her. It is the lack of confidence. In the eyes of many, Macron has become a right-wing president," says Rouban.
By approving this unpopular reform by decree, "he has forced everything, because he has made a presidential reading of the article of the Constitution that allows it." He wanted to go down in history as the president who modernized France, but he could do it as the one who approved his key reform and it doomed him.
The unions celebrate a ninth day of general strike tomorrow. There is the garbage crisis in Paris, with the workers determined to extend it for a third week. Also the crisis due to the blockades in the refineries. To avoid fuel shortages and a plague of rats, the Government has had to force workers from both sectors to return to activity. This has further infuriated the street. "The problem is that Macron crystallizes the personal anger and hatred of many French people. Everything has become radicalized," says Rouban.
Macron, who wanted to pass as the reformist leader, is above all the one of the revolts. His first term was marked by the crisis of the yellow vests and he is less than a year old from the second and already has another social outbreak. "The problem is that he does not have one year left in his mandate, but four. France cannot be in a permanent crisis for four years," says Rouban.
Next week he receives the King of England, who has chosen a burning France for his first trip abroad since his ascension to the throne. After Macron has several international trips, a way to escape the domestic fire. According to Rouban, "France is at a political impasse, facing the end of macronism. It is increasingly alone. It sold itself as a consensus president and has caused conflict. The best solution would be to reconvene presidential elections but then the country would be ungovernable . Even more".
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