Alexis Delafontaine with AFP / Photo credit: Stephane Mouchmouche / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP
12:21 p.m., June 07, 2023
The protest against the pension reform is heading towards its epilogue in Parliament. The President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet announced on Wednesday that she was going to block the examination, in the hemicycle, of the measure to repeal the retirement age at 64.
“On these amendments to restore article 1, (which plans to go back to 62 years old, editor’s note), I am very clear: they will be declared inadmissible by myself during the day”, declared Yaël Braun-Pivet on BFMTV . “I apply the rule, nothing but the rule,” she added, an allusion to article 40 of the Constitution which prohibits any parliamentary proposal creating a burden on public finances.
The rest of the bill, carried by the independent group of deputies Liot and supported by most of the opposition, can still be examined on Thursday. But therefore without a possible vote on its flagship measure which aimed to repeal the decline in the legal age of departure to 64 years. The Liot text fueled the flame of opponents of the reform promulgated in mid-April, even if the participation on Tuesday in the 14th day of mobilization was the lowest recorded in five months of demonstrations.
The announcement of the holder of the perch is not a surprise. “I will take my responsibilities”, she had assured several times in recent days, describing as “unconstitutional” the repeal of the 64 years. The measure in question had already been challenged last week in committee, after a tight vote (38 votes against 34), but the oppositions expected to be able to replay this match Thursday in the hemicycle, by filing “reinstatement amendments” . It is to the latter that Yaël Braun-Pivet will obstruct, as authorized by the rules of the institution.
“Oil on the Fire”
The text of the Liot group would have a cost of “more than 15 billion euros at the very least”, hammered in recent days the presidential camp. Where many voices behind the scenes criticized Ms. Braun-Pivet, from the Macronist group Renaissance, for not having invoked “financial inadmissibility” earlier to whistle the end of the game.
Even adopted by the Assembly, the repeal of 64 years of age would have had only a slim chance of succeeding at the legislative level, the Macronists have continued to argue. While worrying about the political signal of a possible lost vote. Elisabeth Borne once again lambasted an “unconstitutional” and “demagogic” proposal on Tuesday during questions to the government. The Prime Minister responded to the boss of the Liot deputies, Bertrand Pancher, who accused the presidential camp of “throwing oil on the fire” of a fractured country, by trying to prevent a vote on Thursday.
Already resigned to the impossibility of voting on the repeal measure on Thursday, his group and the left have drawn up fallback plans. They tabled a series of alternative amendments with the aim that a symbolic ballot still take place around age measurements, without exposing themselves to the ax of article 40. Some propose, for example, to establish ” a goal of repeal” of 64 years by 2024.
The filing of a new motion of censure against the government is also being debated between the opposition groups which are already expanding their fight beyond pensions. The protest movement has “passed from a social question to a debate on the conception of democracy”, judged the First Secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure, on Tuesday, in reference to the passage to the forceps of the postponement of the age of departure to 64 years old.
The boss of the communist deputies André Chassaigne estimated that the country had become “a democracy which tomorrow can open to a dictatorship”. “The fight will continue”, promised for his part the rebellious leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, without knowing “in what form”, after the boss of the CFDT Laurent Berger estimated that “the match is ending”. If the presidential camp is impatient to turn the page, “it would be wrong to consider that the match is over, that we have won the game, all in the locker room,” said a cautious minister. “At some point, it will take a social conference or whatever” to renew the dialogue.