Deputies and senators reached an agreement on pension reform on Wednesday March 15. Emmanuel Macron was to bring together Elisabeth Borne and several ministers in the evening, on the eve of a decisive but still uncertain day in the National Assembly for his ultra-contested project.
"By this compromise, they are responding to the request of the French to build solutions together for the country", rejoiced on Twitter the Prime Minister, who is partly playing her position at Matignon on this reform, while demonstrators have to new parade throughout France on Wednesday, although less numerous than during the high point of the protest, on March 7.
The seven deputies and seven senators – and as many alternates – gathered in the Joint Joint Committee (CMP) have agreed on a common version of this text which has punctuated the political and social life of the country since January. The Macronists and the right being the majority in this body, the agreement provides, unsurprisingly, for the postponement from 62 to 64 of the legal retirement age, denounced by the unions and the oppositions of the left and far right. .
The leader of the deputies of La France insoumise, Mathilde Panot, denounced "an agreement which was already tied up" and "a lunar atmosphere, as if there were no social movement". The project must now be put to a vote Thursday morning in the Senate, where the right and centrists should ensure a victory, then in the afternoon in the Assembly, where the suspense remains.
The votes of the deputies of the right-wing Les Républicains party, themselves divided, are crucial for the presidential camp, which only has a relative majority in the Assembly. If an absolute majority was not guaranteed, the executive could be tempted to have recourse to Article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows a text to be adopted without a vote.
No 49.3 "at this point"
Although publicly withdrawn on this file which will partly determine the rest of his second five-year term, the Head of State is following the negotiations as closely as possible. He was to bring together Wednesday evening at the Elysée the Prime Minister, the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, and that of Relations with Parliament, Franck Riester.
“The President of the Republic is determined that we can go to a vote as the Prime Minister wishes. He wants to make sure that the conditions are met to go there, ”his entourage told Agence France-Presse. According to a Macronie executive, "at this stage, we are not going towards a 49.3", but it is not excluded. No decision is expected until Thursday, perhaps at the last minute. At the heart of the questions, the decision of several rebels of LR, led by the deputy Aurélien Pradié, who conditions his positive vote on the registration without ambiguity of a maximum duration of 43 years of contribution for all workers.
A compromise was found in CMP on this crucial subject of long careers. But, by the very admission of the boss of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, there will always be certain workers who will have to contribute "a little bit" more than 43 years old, and certain right-wing elected officials "will not wish to vote" the reform.
“You are told that with the accommodations in CMP no one will contribute more than 43 years old. (…) It is actually a new lie equivalent to that of 1,200 euros for all, denounced Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party. The government amendment is perfectly hypocritical: in 60% of cases, it is the legal age that determines the actual retirement age (and therefore a contribution period of more than 43 years). »
"It is better to have a 49.3 than no reform at all", for his part, estimated the boss of LR senators, Bruno Retailleau. Resorting to it would however be perceived as a very risky political gesture, likely to harden the movement, as several union leaders have warned. Using 49.3 also exposes the executive to a vote of no confidence.