Pension reform France, Macron rules out dissolution of Parliament and government reshuffle

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For the moment in France, no government reshuffle or dissolution of Parliament. This is how President Emmanuel Macron seems to have decided, when he communicated his willingness not to touch either the Assemblée Nationale, which yesterday saved the executive by 9 votes, or the government of Elisabeth Borne itself, contested for days in the French squares over the pension reform, during the meeting with the majority leaders. At the same time, however, the French president does not seem willing to hold a referendum, to ask citizens for an opinion on the much-discussed raising of the retirement age. Tomorrow President Macron will explain his reasons to the French during the 1pm television interview by journalists from TF1 And France 2. However, already today, speaking to loyalists behind closed doors, Macron acknowledged some mistakes. “Apparently, we have failed to communicate the right reasons behind this reform,” he commented according to sources present at the meeting cited by the FOranges Press. He then spoke of the need to “appease” and “listen to the anger” of the French, emphasizing however that the “crowd” demonstrating against the reform does not have “legitimacy before the people who express themselves sovereign through the elected”: the riots, he said, “they can’t get the better of the representatives of the people.”

A question of method

According to what was leaked by one of the participants in the meeting, Macron would have asked his followers to present “proposals” “within two or three weeks maximum” in view of a “change of method and reform agenda”. The president tried to minimize yesterday’s vote in Parliament, while arguing that “winning a vote cannot be passed off as a defeat”, but above all he recited a substantial mea culpa on the bumpy path of the pension reform, which passed only thanks to the armor provided by article 49.3, which prevented the vote in Parliament. “Apparently, we failed to communicate the right reasons behind this reform,” Macron said. In the meantime, Prime Minister Borne wanted to thank the parliamentary majority by personally going to the National Assembly, where she underlined their “tenacity” in the hemicycle, especially in the face of “intimidation” by the opposition.

Street protest

For days, street demonstrations have been taking place in the main French cities, first of all Paris: according to the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, there would have been “over 1,200 undeclared, sometimes violent, demonstrations organized in France starting from last Thursday” . In the night between Monday and Tuesday, protests in Paris and in many other French cities following the passage of the pension reform law: the balance is 287 detentions, of which 234 only in the capital. Just Paris decided today to activate a crisis unit to manage the current situation in the Ville Lumière, which has 9,000 tons of rubbish still on the street due to the strike of the garbage collectors which has been going on for two weeks. “At a juncture like this, calm is needed: this is why I ask the government to withdraw its reform and to start a dialogue with the social partners”, declared the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. Despite the passage of the law and the narrow victory of the government over mistrust, the demonstrations are destined to continue: on the occasion of the ninth day of protest, scheduled for next Thursday, the prefecture will deploy 12,000 policemen in France, 5,000 of which in the Paris. The route of the event in the French capital will cross the entire center of the Ville Lumière: the departure will be at the Bastille and then it will proceed along rue de Rivoli, in the direction of the place de l’Opéra.