The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has narrowly escaped the motion of no confidence that sought to knock down his controversial pension reform, approved last Thursday by decree, without a vote by the Assembly. Two had been presented and the one with the most possibilities, that of the independent group Liot, has obtained 278 votes and has remained nine short of achieving the necessary majority (287) to be approved.
The controversial law that seeks to delay the retirement age continues to overcome obstacles. The rejection of the motions means that it continues, with seven out of 10 Frenchmen against it and almost the entire parliamentary arc, after two months of protests and 10 days of general strike. Macron, who is left very weakened, saves her in the seats, but not on the street, a hotbed of discontent that threatens to worsen.
The fuse of the citizen's anger burned last Thursday, when he decided to approve the reform through article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows it to be done without a vote, given the doubts of having the necessary support in the Chamber, where he does not have a majority.
The left and the extreme right have already announced that they will appeal to the Constitutional Council. Two motions had been filed to try to stop the law. That of the group of Marine Le Pen (National Regroupment) did not have support. That of the Liot group, which was supported by the majority, needed to mobilize half of the deputies of Los Republicanos (61 seats). Its president had agreed not to vote so as not to aggravate the chaos, but almost twenty of these parliamentarians have done so, more than expected. The presidential majority thus distances itself from the only support it had in the assembly.
The tension has been maintained until the last moment, precisely because of the division within this party, which Macron was counting on to approve the reform in the Assembly. The division within it led him to use article 49.3, so as not to take risks.
"We assume we have participated in this reform", defended the deputy of Los Republicanos Olivier Marleix during his speech. "We will not associate ourselves with those who are under the slogan 'break everything or revolution'," he said, referring to the radical left.
Parliamentarians have had harsh words for Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. "With 49.3 they have betrayed the people, it has no legitimacy," said Mathilde Panot, a deputy for the Nupes left-wing coalition. "Her Government of hers is already dead."
"We defend many values that have been attacked with this pension text," said Charles de Courson, deputy for Liot, in his speech.
When Borne took the floor, the deputies from the left left the Chamber. When the president of the Chamber announced that the motion was rejected, the left-wing deputies took out posters that read "RIP." They say that this "is a blow to democracy."
This controversial law aims to raise the retirement age from the current 62 years to 64 and advance the requirement to contribute 43 years to 2027. Macron, very quiet these days, could give a speech in the next few hours and announce changes in the Government. The prime minister has summoned tonight the parties of the presidential majority in a meeting. Although she is not forced to resign, it is most likely that the president will replace her, since she is the visible face of this unpopular reform and has been greatly weakened. Macron would thus try to make a clean slate, open a new stage.
This does not seem very likely if you take a look at the street. Determined to push it forward despite the country's opposition, Macron is facing the biggest social crisis since that of the yellow vests, the protest movement that marked his first term. He was re-elected a year ago and he still has four more left from this second, also marked by citizen discontent.
Since last Thursday there have been protests and their climate of violence has increased, with the burning of containers and barricades. The street could heat up quickly. Already in the morning, before the vote on the motions, there were blockades in many cities of the country. The largest refinery in the country, in Normandy, is stopped and in many cities there are already queues to refuel.
What best represents the chaos that France is experiencing these days is the 10,000 tons of garbage that has flooded Paris for two weeks, when the garbage collectors went on strike. Interior has tried to mobilize personnel by force to collect part, but in some cases it has been prevented. Some radical protesters have taken advantage of these days to burn it.
The unions have already said that they will continue with the mobilizations and there is a day of unemployment (the tenth already) called for Thursday. This afternoon thousands of people gathered around the Assembly. The French police already prohibited the concentrations in the Place de la Concorde on Thursday, which has become a symbol of protest and resistance against this law.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project