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French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law his pension reform early Saturday morning, in a “provocation” to unions and the opposition after three months of social strife that is set to continue.
Law passed in the night, like thieves, the reaction of the communist leader, Fabien Roussel. “What a provocation! A new trick by Emmanuel Macron while the country has never been so divided, ”tweeted environmental activist Marine Tondelaere.
And Macron’s office announced that the head of state would address the country in a speech on Monday evening, to make, according to government spokesman Olivier Ferrand, an “assessment” of the three months of the crisis with “the logic of appeasement.”
The French Constitutional Council ratified Friday noon Postponing the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030 and moving forward to 2027 for the contribution requirement of 43, not 42, to collect a full pension.
Although this marked a “legal victory” for the 45-year-old liberal president, the press This Saturday was unanimously assessed as “a Pyrrhic victory” and “a disaster for the nation”, especially when a large majority of the French disagreed.girl.
The unions had warned that France was going through a “democratic crisis” after the president decided in mid-March by decree to adopt his unpopular law, lest he lose the vote in Parliament where he lacks an absolute majority.
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This decision It has radicalized the protests, and with its swift implementation, Macron “appears to be having fun adding fuel to the fire.”estimated the leader of the UNSA Federation, Laurent Escourt, that “nothing good will come of this.”
On Friday, after the issuance of the constitutional ruling, incidents were recorded in several cities, such as Paris, where there were 138 detainees. In Rennes (west) a police station door was set on fire, and in Marseille (southeast), a train station was stormed.
The central unions, which have been leading the protest since January, have called for an “extraordinary mobilization” on May 1, on the occasion of International Workers’ Day, to protest the reform.
The four unions representing the national rail company SNCF announced a “day of outrage” on Thursday.
The CGT union also announced new strike days and protests across all sectors on Thursday and April 28.
– How is conflict disrupted? –
The government’s goal is to turn the page quickly New measures in areas such as health or education, with the French paying full attention to their purchasing power.
However, the underlying social conflict is a brake if it is not resolved, and on the other hand, the unions refuse to meet with the government and Macron before the first of May.
On May 3, the Constitutional Court must rule on an application by the left-wing opposition for equalityTo organize a referendum on setting the retirement age at 62 years, after the first similar request was rejected on Friday.
Along with the reform, which he has championed to avoid a 13,000 million euro ($14,400 million) shortfall in the pension fund by 2030, the president also risked being able to implement his program during his second term until 2027.
In April 2022, Macron was re-elected with 58.5% of the vote against far-right Marine Le Pen. Realizing that his victory was partly due to the healthy cordon against his rival, he vowed to rule in a different way and unite the country.
But the pension reform episode showed the opposite. The law was adopted using controversial legal mechanisms that limited debate in parliament and without listening to the disapproval of the majority of residents and trade unions.
The head of state’s popularity in opinion polls has now fallen to less than 30%.
“There is an arrogance in Emmanuel Macron that feeds on social ignorance,” historian Pierre Rosanvallon said in the newspaper Liberation.
Opinion polls currently show a deterioration in the French’s confidence in institutions and an evolution in the intention to vote for Marine Le Pen, despite the fact that her opposition to reform was less active than that of the left.
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