France’s pension reform: after another day of fury, cracks appear between Macron and his prime minister, and unions march on again

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After a France-wide protest of 2 million people this Thursday over pension reform, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne changed tone in front of trade unionists. He has distanced himself from the strategy of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, towards the opposition and the trade unions. But he was quickly denied by Elisha’s palace.

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“We have to be very careful not to rush things, we have to let things rest. The country needs peace“said Elisabeth Borne. “Unions they should not be humiliated of this sequence”, announced the premier in Le Monde and Le Point.

Difficult not to make a connection with the attitude of Emmanuel Macron, who never ceases – through his entourage or during his interviews with France 2 and TF1 – to attack Laurent Bergerthe leader of the CFDT, with whom nobody talks since the time of Francois Hollande.

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Elisabeth Borne, during a visit to a health centre, in the south of France.  Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

Elisabeth Borne, during a visit to a health centre, in the south of France. Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

The Social Democratic leader of the first workers’ union in France invites him to do so “control your nerves” and praised Borne’s democratic ability.

For the future, the premier wants to give “direction” to the country. “Before we go looking for allies to vote on texts, it is important to say where we want to go. We must give meaning and encouragement to action. I’m not here just to run the country,” he said.

With President Emmanuel Macron in China calling on his colleague Xi Xinping to speed up peace with Ukraine this Easter weekend, there was a pithy response from the Elysee to Elisabeth Borne’s ideas.

“The President of the Republic coordinates with the Prime Minister. The course was given by the President of the Republic during his interview at 1pm on France 2 and TF1,” said a spokesman.

Nothing at least one concession or an acceptable change of tone with the unions, in a tense France, with the workers’ march in Paris infiltrated by the Black Bloc and terrifying violence once again on Thursday. In “democratic crisis” as the unions announced today.

The unions approve of his words

When the unions prepare a march for on April 13 Pending the result of the Constitutional Council, which will declare all or part of the legality or illegitimacy of the pension reform, the CFDT welcomed the new moderation of Elisabeth Borne on the newspaper Le Monde.

Union leader Laurent Berger, a guest on RMC and BFMTV, said on Friday morning: “The Prime Minister’s message is more respectful than what has come to us from China.” He was referring to the statements of Emmanuel Macron, who had denied the expression “democratic crisis” used Thursday by Laurent Berger, believing that “words have a meaning, and if we abuse them, we bring out the extremes”.

“In the way of arguing and arguing, we always had someone respectful with Madame Borne and frankness,” continued the union leader.

Union leaders Sophie Binet and Laurent Berger.  Photo: Reuters

Union leaders Sophie Binet and Laurent Berger. Photo: Reuters

He agreed with the Prime Minister regarding the climate in France. Laurent Berger also said he “agrees” with Elisabeth Borne “that appeasement is needed”. “We need respect in the period of conflict we are experiencing”, he continued.

Borne is different from Macron

Borne, this civil engineer graduated from the ENA, with a discreet life and a past as a technocrat, has stepped aside in the tough confrontation between the unions and the Elysee Palace, which refuses to welcome the unions. But the head of state does not give up.

In Le Monde and Le Point, the Prime Minister reveals, between the lines, his disagreements with Emmanuel Macron. The latter had given her a timetable on March 22 during a television interview, inviting her in particular to resume dialogue with the unions and to “enlarge the majority”.

Borne, civil engineer graduated from ENA, discreet life and past as a technocrat.  Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

Borne, civil engineer graduated from ENA, discreet life and past as a technocrat. Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

Macron does not have a parliamentary majority in the Assembly. An unusual case for a French president. His words can “stretch” the opposition, according to Elisabeth Borne, who wants to maintain the method used since the beginning of the legislature: text-by-text chord search with different political forces.

“There is no other short-term alternative,” he said.

Mission Impossible

The road map entrusted to him by the President of the Republic is today an impossible mission. France is tensewith anger and even hatred, in a political, social, democratic crisis, with the threat of dissolution of Parliament.

France is tense, with anger and even hatred, in a political, social and democratic crisis.  Photo: Julien de Rosa / AFP

France is tense, with anger and even hatred, in a political, social and democratic crisis. Photo: Julien de Rosa / AFP

The right, which has voted for various texts by the Macronists since the beginning of the legislature, is currently rejecting any coalition with the presidential camp. They see Macron as “arrogant, authoritarianisolated, weak, in a cloud”.

Éric Ciotti, the leader of the republicans, recalled in an interview with Le Figaro, president of the party, that “any individual poaching will contribute to a radicalization of positions”.

On the left, where the elected members of the Socialist Party are above all “children of the Nupes (New People’s Ecological and Social Union), the Prime Minister has little chance of drawing votes.

However, the head of government spoke with Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, number two of the socialist party, representative of a very critical line of Nupes. The mayor of Rouen told Libération that there are no possible relationships for the future, ruling out any “compromise” or “ambiguity”.

For the future, Elisabeth Borne he wants to give the country “a course”.

Is the prime minister leaving?

At the Elysée all scenarios are examined, including the exit of Elisabeth Borne.  Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

At the Elysée all scenarios are examined, including the exit of Elisabeth Borne. Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

All the scenarios are examined at the Elysée, including an Elisabeth Borne outlet as prime minister, Le Monde said. But he refuses to “make it a matter of people”. He thinks it’s not the moment for the swan song, but for stability.

“We are emerging from frontal opposition. The country is in shock. People are a bit stunned. A settling time must be respected. This is not the time to kick the wheel,” the premier said.

Borne confesses it he has some remorse including that of not having realized early enough the extent of the splits in the Les Républicains party, which prevented Macronia from obtaining an absolute majority in its text and had to resort to the mechanism of article 49.3 (whereby the reform of pensions without the vote of Parliament) that swept the country.

“We will be more attentive to the future”, promises the prime minister.

In a survey by the newspaper Le Figaro, el 60.6% are in favor of Elisabeth Borne remaining in her position against 34.9 percent who want to see him out.

Macron’s fury

But from Beijing, a furious president Macron marked the terms again of this dispute: do not give in.

From Beijing, a furious President Macron resealed the terms.  Photo: Jacques Witt/AFP

From Beijing, a furious President Macron resealed the terms. Photo: Jacques Witt/AFP

He forced his prime minister back. “Emmanuel Macron and I share the same goal: to appease the country and give quick answers to the French and we are perfectly aligned on this issue‘ Borne explained after the interviews at noon on Friday. “The President Sets the Course”, Born remembered.

A close friend of the Head of State has once again invited the unions to do so “do not abuse” the words used. “Otherwise, we raise the ends.” Laurent Berger accused the government of turning “a social crisis” into a “democratic crisis”.

The Elysée is far from the message of Elisabeth Borne who indicated on Wednesday that she would not “consider moving forward without the unions”. But Borne is now keeping a low profile, anxious not to open a front against Emmanuel Macron.

“The president is setting the course. I’m working on the road map he gave me,” the prime minister told Rodez.

But this French psychodrama is not over yet. Unionists believe that the Constitutional Council it will not fully legalize pension reform by Macron. The president has the same fears. Is it the way to redirect the crisis or start over?

ap

Source: Clarin

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