Forced to break the silence without moving a millimeter on the bottom. Friday March 10, on the eve of the seventh day of mobilization, Emmanuel Macron came out of his reserve twice on the pension reform. In the middle of the day, the Elysée sent a letter from the President of the Republic addressed to the eight unions and five youth organizations who had written to him, Thursday, March 9, to denounce “lack of response” both of the head of state and of the government in the face of “massive mobilizations”.
“I do not underestimate the dissatisfaction of which you are the spokesperson as the anxieties expressed by many French people worried about never having a pension”admits Mr. Macron, without offering the unions to meet them despite their requests, but by referring them to his ministers: “The government is, as it has always been, listening to you to move forward in the dialogue. » According to the entourage of the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, no meeting is currently scheduled between the executive and the trade unions, even if the door is still ” opened “.
The Head of State did not intend to speak on this subject this week, wanting to respect “parliamentary time” with the examination of the text in the Senate. But, according to several of those close to him, he could not leave the letter from the unions unanswered. Tuesday March 7, on the evening of the sixth day of mobilization, the inter-union had begun to personalize the confrontation by asking to be received ” emergency “ at the Elysee.
The opportunity to justify the reform again
On Friday afternoon, at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Paris, Mr Macron said reform must go to his ” term “ in Parliament, while the oppositions denounce a “forced passage” with the use of article 44.3 in the Senate, which allows the government to proceed to a blocked vote on its text.
“There was a period of union negotiations, then there was a period of work by the executive. Then there is parliamentary time in the Assembly and then now in the Senate. And the Senate is working hard, day and night,” he explained, dodging questions on the possible use of a 49.3 in the National Assembly, Thursday March 16, if the Joint Joint Commission of Wednesday March 15 is conclusive: “I will not do political fiction here, because that is not my role. »
On the merits, the letter to the unions above all allows Mr. Macron to justify once again his pension reform, made necessary, according to him, by the “sustainable and growing deficits that our system will face in the years to come”, and to insist on the legitimacy of this project which was “at the heart of the presidential campaign”.
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