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HomeLatest NewsThe pension reform advances with a tough debate in the French Assembly

The pension reform advances with a tough debate in the French Assembly

Date: March 20, 2023 Time: 18:08:09

This Saturday is a day of hangover in France after the intense and sterile debate in the National Assembly of the pension reform proposed by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, which ended last midnight without a vote between harsh protest crosses. The deputies cannot close the debate and vote on all the articles of the government’s legislative project, largely because the leftist party La Francia Insumisa (LFI) maintained thousands of amendments whose discussion was impossible in the narrow time frame set by the Government.

“We wanted to confront the government with its lies and contradictions,” LFI deputy Aurélie Trouvé said this Saturday to justify this position, in an interview with the public radio station France Info. Trouvé was also guilty of not having voted for the Executive for choosing the urgent parliamentary route to debate such an important reform, which shortened the debate period to ten days. The Socialist deputy Arthur Delaporte agreed on this, and assured that the urgent debate “contributed to increasing tensions” in the Assembly, according to what he declared to the BFMTV channel.

truncated discussion

The result was that the Assembly did not even get to discuss the controversial article 7, which increases the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, and that the lack of a vote by the deputies means that the Government’s text goes to the Senate in its entirety.

Optimism remains in government ranks, since the harsh debate (the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, was even described as a “murderer”) did not break the unity between the different tendencies that make up the Macronist ranks, especially those who came from the Socialist Party.

The short debate and the poor quality of the discussions, full of invective, booing and shouting, even more so in an issue as capital as pensions, constitutes “a democratic failure” according to an editorial in the newspaper Libération, which blames all parliamentary groups. , but above all to the president himself, Emmanuel Macron, for opting for the urgent legislative path.

As the culmination of an almost surreal night, Marine Le Pen’s extreme right, who hardly participated in the debates, raised their motion of no confidence against the Government, which was overwhelmingly defeated after three in the morning amid unanimous criticism for its political opportunism and lack of meaning The Senate will begin to discuss the pension reform on the 28th in committees, while the debate will go to the plenary session on March 2, also during a two-week window.

Once the Senate finishes its discussion, a mixed commission of the two chambers – made up of seven members from each of them – will meet in mid-March to define a common text that will be submitted to the plenary session of both. The calendar establishes that the parliamentary debate has to be concluded by March 26.

Crisis in the only party next to Macron

The Government, which does not have a parliamentary majority, uses the support of the conservative party Los Republicanos (LR) in both chambers. And precisely in the LR there was a storm in the background today, when the president of the party, Éric Ciotti, dismissed the vice-president, Aurélien Pradié, whom he accused of undertaking a “personal adventure” that undermines the “unity” of the formation.

As a background, Ciotti is in favor of supporting the government’s position without changes, while Pradié -also a deputy- sought in the debate to guarantee that those who started working before the age of 21 should not work more than 43 years to obtain a pension complete, even if they have not reached the minimum age of 64 that the project wants to set as a minimum to access the retirement benefit.

Unions threaten a general strike

A few days after the Senate began its debates, the unions have called a total national strike for March 7, with the aim of “stopping France”, in an attempt to make the stoppages much broader than in the four days of protest called since January 19.

The strike in the chemical sector could be extended over time, according to the union call released yesterday. Since chemistry includes refineries, the French fear the return of fuel shortages at gas stations, as happened last fall due to the strike at those facilities in search of wage increases.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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