On the eve of the start of the examination of the pension reform in committee at the Assembly, Elisabeth Borne is intransigent on age measurements. The postponement of the retirement age from 62 to 64, contested by the unions and most of the opposition, “is no longer negotiable”, said the Prime Minister on franceinfo.
“It is no longer negotiable, retirement at 64 and the acceleration (of the extension of the contribution period, editor’s note) of the Touraine reform”, declared the head of government: “it is the compromise that we proposed after having heard the employers’ organizations and trade unions, after having exchanged with the various parliamentary groups (…) It is necessary to ensure the balance of the system”. “If we had only one parameter, then it wouldn’t be 43 years of contribution and 64 years to be able to retire, it could be 45 years of contribution period, which seems impossible to us to ask the French “, she pleaded in this interview carried out on Saturday, on the sidelines of a trip to the constituency of Calvados of which she was elected deputy.
Elisabeth Borne showed herself open, on the other hand, to a discussion in Parliament on better use of the “education” and “maternity” quarters obtained by women during their careers. “As of today, there are many women who cannot use them to the full, we are analyzing the situation of these women who (…) may not use them to the full tomorrow, so this analysis is ongoing,” she explained.
The oppositions rise to the crenel
The firmness displayed by the Prime Minister on the age measures, from which the executive had never departed, made the opposition jump. From her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais), the patron saint of deputies RN Marine Le Pen warned the Prime Minister who “should not go too far, because, gone as it is gone , it is not at all impossible that his pension reform will not be voted on”.
“If you do not want the country to be blocked, the small government minority must renounce this reform”, argued LFI coordinator Manuel Bompard on BFMTV.
Guest of Cnews, Europe 1 and Les Echos, the communist leader Fabien Roussel likened his statements to a “provocation 48 hours from the demonstration”.
On Tuesday, the eight main French unions are hoping for a mass effect to overcome an “unfair reform”. After their feat of January 19 (1.12 million demonstrators according to Beauvau, more than two million according to the organizers), they called “to mobilize even more massively on the 31st”. A hope reinforced by polls attesting to a growing rejection in public opinion. “The population is very unfavorable to the project and this opinion tends to gain momentum”, also notes the number one of the CFDT, Laurent Berger.
In response to this growing distrust, the majority is trying to call public opinion to witness. In Le Parisien on Saturday, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin lambasted the left, which wants to “border” the country but spared the unions. In the JDD, his counterpart at Bercy Bruno Le Maire focused on the deficits. “If we are at least responsible, I think that the reform is inevitable”, put forward on France Inter the leader of the Modem, François Bayrou. Like Elisabeth Borne, however, he opened the door to a “review clause” of the reform.
The government’s educational work on this reform will continue Thursday evening with the Prime Minister, invited on France 2, two days after the 2nd day of union mobilization where more than 200 rallies are planned.
By then, the examination of the bill will therefore have started on Monday in committee. More than 7,000 amendments have been tabled, mainly by the left, which intends to prolong the debates, while the right seeks to raise the stakes, aware that its votes will be crucial to adopt the reform. The government must also deal with its own majority, where many are calling for improvements and some are reluctant to vote for the text.