Emmanuel Macron risks his government: he faces a motion of no confidence amid strong protests in France

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French President Emmanuel Macron His government is at stake this Mondayin a motion of censure by deputies, for having imposed a pension reform at 64, with the application of the 49.3 mechanism, which does not require a parliamentary vote.

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Its prime minister Elizabeth Borne could emerge victorious because the 20 pro-independence lawmakers who promote it have obtained – so far – only 258 of the 287 votes needed for its fall. But the crisis has calcined him. Sooner or later he will leave office to bring France back to the path of peace.

Ministers and trade unionists are urging President Macron to address the French people, after days of often very violent protests against his decision to impose an increase in the retirement age in Parliament, without a vote.

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The riots have raised fears of a repetition of the movement of the Yellow Vests, which crippled parts of the country for months during his first term as president.

Wooden pallets burn during a protest against the pension reform law.  AP Photo

Wooden pallets burn during a protest against the pension reform law. AP Photo


Macron has been silent since Thursday, when Borne, his premier, was booed by deputies, after announcing that the reform would be approved by decree. The premier wept in a hall of the National Assembly, when thousands of people gathered spontaneously to protest on the Place de la Concorde.

“To the decision to avoid the vote for the pension reform 80% of people objectedand also half of the president’s supporters,” said Bernard Sananès, head of pollster Elabe. Clashes across France between protesters and police ensued.

the world He said Macron’s advisers were considering turning to the nation, in an attempt to “find a way out of the political deadlock”. But attendees told the newspaper so he had “no qualms or remorse” for evading a parliamentary vote, saying he “had no choice”.

Macron seems determined to resist: will he be able to implement a measure he deems vital to improve the country’s finances? And why are the French so upset about having to work another two years until they’re 64?

the motion of confidence

One of the votes of confidence was presented by the right-wing Agrupacion Nacional (RN), led by Marine Le Pen, and the other by Liot, a small centrist party. If either succeeds, the government must resign, leaving Macron to form a new administration or dissolve Parliament and call elections. Even if Borne survives the motion, his days seem numbered.

Liot, who has called his motion “cross-partisan,” has a better chance, given that the left is not willing to line up behind Le Pen. To reach the 287 votes needed in the National Assembly, he needs the support of about 30 of the 64 center-right Republican MPs.

Two people walk past overflowing trash cans near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  AP Photo

Two people walk past overflowing trash cans near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. AP Photo

Éric Ciotti, the leader of the republicans, refused to support the motion, stating: “We don’t want to add more chaos to chaos”. He is also concerned that his party will do poorly in the snap election. A handful of Ciotti’s MPs have indicated they will challenge him.

Jordan Bardella, the president of the National Rally, has been trying to get others to follow suit by promising that his party will not field candidates against him if the crisis leads to an election.

Hopes in a referendum

Opponents of the pension reform have another chance to undo it trying to hold a referendum. They have already won the support of more than 185 requested deputies and have nine months to collect the signatures of a tenth of the electorate, just over 4.85 million people. But they must present their request before the president signs it into law.

His chances of success look good. Triggering the process would also mean that the new pension scheme could not be introduced before the referendum, thwarting Macron’s plans to start introducing changes from September and casting a shadow over the rest of the government’s work.

The country is in a state of rebellion, with spontaneous demonstrations repressed by the police. On Saturday they banned demonstrations on the Place de la Concorde and on the Champs-Elysées, the symbolic avenue of the Yellow Vests, which paralyzed the Macron government for two years. This crisis can be worse.

People challenge authority. In France, the authorization of the prefecture is required for marches. Nobody asks. Last night there were still 2,000 people in the Place de la Concorde, who were cleared with gas by the police. But a spontaneous demonstration, which started from the Place de la Italie at sunset, surprised and brought together 4,000 people.

The police cracked down hard. But at midnight another spontaneous demonstration took place in the rue de Charonne, where the terrorist attacks took place, in the Bastille. Thursday will be the great march of the trade unions.

The capital’s police have announced a ban on gatherings on the Place de la Concorde, near the Parliament building, after two nights of protests in which they used tear gas and repression to disperse protesters, whose ranks have been swelled by members of the Black Blocs,” the anarchists that trade unionists hate so much.

Industrial unrest continues, symbolized by about 10,000 tons of garbage piled up on the streets of Paris due to a garbage collectors strike. The incinerators remain closed. The biggest threat to the economy is strikes at oil refineries, which are spreading, while train services have also been disrupted.

Key school exams, due to start this week, are also at risk. Thursday is the ninth in a series of one-day nationwide strikes by millions of workers.

In this crisis of the reform of pensions without a vote there is a philosophy that the rest of the world does not understand and it is a French specificity. In France, a revolutionary country, “People want to work to live, not live to work”. There is a French art de vivre that starts with working just 35 hours a week. A legacy of socialist minister Martine Aubry, which no one has managed to change.

They pay heavy taxes to the state to protect them, to receive 85% of their contributions when they retire, to enjoy life after retirement. It is different from other countries. But France has always been different and is the fourth world power because it has high levels of productivity.

Source: Clarin

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