Pensions: the debates are unblocked, but remain tense

The examination of the pension reform is progressing little by little in the National Assembly

Pensions: the debates are unblocked, but remain tense

The examination of the pension reform is progressing little by little in the National Assembly. This Monday evening, the debates were able to take place, after a new incident during the day.

"The French deserve better," the prime minister told AFP, calling for "obstructive" amendments to be withdrawn and for "debates to be held on substance and not invective."

The head of government was speaking after a new incident at the Palais-Bourbon. The deputy Insoumis Aurélien Saintoul set fire to the powder, by qualifying the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt "of assassin" and "of impostor" during an intervention on the deaths at work. The Assembly immediately regained its accents of last Friday during the exclusion for two weeks of another LFI, Thomas Portes, for a tweet where he had staged his foot resting on a ball bearing the image of 'Olivier Dussopt.

Aurélien Saintoul, whose intervention aroused the disapproval of other groups, including on the left, then presented a "public apology" for "inappropriate" remarks. Olivier Dussopt said to "hear" them without "forgiving".

The chairman of the session, the RN Sébastien Chenu, imposed on the Insoumis deputy a call to order with entry in the minutes, i.e. the withdrawal of a quarter of his parliamentary allowance for one month. A heavier sanction could be pronounced in office, the highest authority of the National Assembly. This new slippage illustrates the intense tension of the debates in the Assembly.

Before Elisabeth Borne's appeal, the left had begun to withdraw amendments to "move forward". "We want to go to article 7", on the postponement of the legal age to 64, said the leader of environmentalists, Cyrielle Chatelain.

In the evening, the Nupes coalition announced the withdrawal of a "thousand" of them, to progress on article 2 devoted to the "senior index", an indicator to encourage companies to employ older employees. However, the article has not yet been voted on and there were still more than 14,000 amendments to the counter across the entire text.

"Take out 10,000 amendments so that we reach article 7," claimed RN Laure Lavalette. The opposition gave little credence to the senior index. It "is useless, it's one more tartufferie", attacked the Insoumise Clémence Guetté, while LR Thibault Bazin said he was "skeptical".

The Assembly voted an amendment so that the obligation of an indicator on the employment of seniors applies to companies with fifty employees or more, and not from 300 employees only. Then another to be "gendered", with numbers distinguishing female and male.

Gauche and RN also castigated the government's "lies" on the "minimum pension at 1,200 euros" for full careers at minimum wage: "the number of French people concerned" is "ridiculous", pointed out Jean-Philippe Tanguy (RN) . "Throughout his campaign, the President of the Republic has committed to a minimum pension equal to 85% of the minimum wage for a full career [...] there is no surprise, no deception", replied the minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt.

Earlier, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire pounded LFI's "obstruction" and behavior as an "obstacle to democratic debate". The Insoumis Éric Coquerel, chairman of the Finance Committee, denounced in the hemicycle a "little music" "to divide the (left-wing coalition) Nupes in relation to the inter-union". But "don't count on big hooves like that," he warned.

Whether or not the deputies have completed the examination of the bill, the discussions will end Friday at midnight on first reading. The text will then go to the Senate.

The debates will be punctuated, Thursday, by a fifth day of action at the call of the inter-union. The CGT called on Monday railway workers, dockers, electricians, gas workers, chemical and glass workers to strike. And the intersyndicale raises the specter of a "France at a standstill" on March 7, after the school holidays.

"We want there to be a vote on article 7", insisted Monday on BFMTV the boss of the CGT Philippe Martinez, so that "each deputy can express themselves" on the postponement from 62 to 64 years of the retirement age.

Will MPs get there? "It's a bullshit game. In reality, nobody wants to go to article 7. We, because we are not sure of winning, them (the macronists) because they are not sure of winning, ”says an LFI deputy.

Consult our file: Pensions: the big bang