Pension reform: the government chooses discussion over confrontation

A time mentioned, there is no longer any question of forcefully passing the pension reform wanted by Emmanuel Macron. While the unions and the opposition were fearful of a forced passage, the government decided to open a cycle of consultation, with the aim of presenting a text by the end of winter.

classic bill

Elisabeth Borne, the head of government, wants to start negotiations next week. Consultations therefore, but not on all subjects. The executive should remain inflexible on the core of the reform, i.e. the gradual lowering of the legal retirement age from 62 to 65 by 2031. On the other hand, on the question of the method, Elisabeth Borne has chosen to temporize by saying that she favors a classic bill, but the latter will be difficult to pass with a relative majority.

This is why the track of including the reform in an amending Social Security financing bill remains on the table. This would thus allow the government to use article 49-3 in an unlimited way in the event of a blockage in Parliament, if the consultations which are about to open quickly find themselves in an impasse. If this situation arises, a heavyweight of the macronie warns that an amendment to the Social Security budget can be tabled immediately for an express reform.

Towards a dissolution of the Assembly?

But the opposition intends to retaliate in the event of the use of 49-3, and these members will not hesitate to retaliate by voting for a motion of censure against the government. Faced with this idea which has come a long way, Emmanuel Macron does not rule out dissolving the National Assembly and calling the French back to the polls. A threat to the opposition that would be tempted to bring down the government via an alliance of convenience.

A risk which nevertheless seems limited because to be adopted, a motion of censure must receive an absolute majority of votes from the deputies of the Assembly. And in the current composition of the hemicycle, it would therefore be necessary to bring together the deputies of Nupes, the National Rally and the Les Républicains party.

However, in the current situation, the Republicans do not necessarily have an interest in early legislative elections taking place quickly. Emmanuel Macron’s threat therefore aims to calm the rumble within the MoDem, while pushing the Republicans to support this reform.

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