Pensions: Macron engages 49.3, the government weakened, the oppositions revived

Emmanuel Macron and his government opted Thursday for the use of 49

Pensions: Macron engages 49.3, the government weakened, the oppositions revived

Emmanuel Macron and his government opted Thursday for the use of 49.3 on the pension reform, announced by Élisabeth Borne before a National Assembly in turmoil, a major rebound after two months of parliamentary battle and opposition in the street.

In an indescribable heckling, covered by "Marseillaise" sung in a loop by the left, Élisabeth Borne announced that her government would be held responsible for this emblematic reform of Macron's second five-year term, for lack of being assured of a sufficient number of votes from the right-wing Republicans.

On TF1 Thursday evening, the Prime Minister said she was "very shocked" by the boos of the opposition. “The challenge is to ensure the future of our pension system” and “it is not a personal issue”, also assured Ms. Borne, whose method is questioned, less than a year. year after his arrival at Matignon.

The head of government claims to have "made every effort to gather a majority" in the National Assembly on pension reform

Emmanuel Macron reserved his explanations for the Council of Ministers. "My political interest and my political will was to go to the vote. Among you all, I am not the one who is risking his place or his seat," he said, according to one participant.

"There will be a vote on the text. It is provided for by our institutions: it is the motion of censure", also argued the head of state. An argument taken up Thursday evening by his Prime Minister.

A perspective immediately confirmed by the National Rally. "We are obviously going to table a motion of censure," announced Marine Le Pen. Its deputies will also vote on motions from other groups.

This 49.3, the 100th of the Fifth Republic and the 11th of Mrs. Borne, is a "total failure" of Emmanuel Macron and his Prime Minister who "cannot stay" in Matignon, judged Mrs. Le Pen.

The president of the LFI group Mathilde Panot for her part evoked a "transpartisan censure motion", an upcoming referral to the Constitutional Council by the Nupes, and a referendum of shared initiative "which makes it possible to block the reform for nine months". Jean-Luc Mélenchon denounced a "collapse of the presidential minority."

On the right, the president of LR Éric Ciotti, who had sealed an agreement at the beginning of January with Élisabeth Borne, judged "quite easy to make the Republicans bear this responsibility. This failure is that of a method", that of the government, "which did not work" and "did not result in finding a majority".

The boss of LR assured that the deputies of his group would not vote for any motion of censure. But the deputy Aurélien Pradié, at the forefront among the rebels of the party, said that he would "think", with several of his colleagues, to vote one which would not come from the RN, nor from the Nupes.

The group of independent deputies Liot has indicated that if the project is not withdrawn and the government resigns, it will table a cross-partisan motion of censure.

These motions must be tabled within 24 hours of 49.3, so Friday, and can only be debated 48 hours after they are tabled.

How will the street react after the outbreak of 49.3? The inter-union called on Thursday for "local local gatherings" this weekend and for a ninth day of mobilization on Thursday, March 23, denouncing "the responsibility borne by the executive in the social and political crisis" which stems from 49.3 , "true denial of democracy".

Thursday evening, the police intervened to evacuate several thousand demonstrators who had gathered at Place de la Concorde, not far from the Assembly. Other demonstrations have broken out in several cities in France.

Several union officials in the transport and energy sectors have also warned against possible "excesses" or "individual actions" by rank-and-file employees.

After declaring that they wanted to "do everything" to avoid it, the president and his Prime Minister therefore resigned themselves, after a succession of crisis meetings at the Élysée, to having the text on pensions adopted without a positive vote from the Assembly.

A form of failure for Elisabeth Borne, who has made many efforts for several months to try to forge an agreement with the right. But a visibly too large number of LR deputies risked missing out.

For days, Macronist strategists had been busy trying to find out if they had a majority on the text, all the counts showing extremely little room for maneuver.

A compromise, sealed Wednesday between deputies and senators in a joint joint committee, had paved the way for a vote in the two assemblies for this project which postpones the retirement age to 64 years. Compromise that the Senate, unsurprisingly, endorsed by a vote Thursday morning, by 193 votes against 114.

But the concessions granted to the LRs, in particular on long careers, did not dispel doubts about the voting intentions of the deputies of this unruly group.

The announcement of this 49.3 plunges the rest of the five-year term into great uncertainty. On Wednesday, before resigning himself to drawing this constitutional weapon, Emmanuel Macron had also considered, in the event of a vote and defeat in the hemicycle, the possibility of dissolution, according to majority executives.

Dissolution ? "Chiche", launched Marine Le Pen.

03/16/2023 20:55:32 -         Paris (AFP) -         © 2023 AFP