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Fulfill a promise by decree


The question is whether Macron has squandered all his political capital. And also if the motions of censure that are expected against his government will go ahead

Emmanuel Macron already occupies an important page in the history of France.

He has ripped off one of the band-aids that hurt the most in his country: pension reform.

What can take a toll on him, however, is how he has done it.

Because the French president, who did not have a sufficient majority in the Assembly, decided this Thursday what for his critics was to immolate himself and advance based on a decree.

He ordered his prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, to activate article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows the adoption of a law without a parliamentary vote.

This procedure is perfectly legitimate and legal, but it was just what nobody, neither the unions nor the opposition, nor Macron himself, wanted.

After weeks of intense political activity at the Elysée, Macron thought he would get the reform through, but ultimately failed to muster the votes of the conservative opposition to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

He spent hours considering what to do and in the end he imposed the unilateral path.

A parliamentary defeat, according to him, would have entailed “too great financial and economic risks” for France.

So he avoided a failure in the Assembly, but shooting himself in the foot.

Or rather sacrificing his prime minister, who in reality she was written off since she took office last June.

Now Borne will have to resign or he will drag the entire government under him.

What awaits the rest of Macron's presidential term, his last, is an even more fiery street.

The people are tired after two months of demonstrations, but they are still furious: official polls say that two out of three French people reject the reform.

In addition, the fact that the controversial decree has been approved for many symbolizes the failure of the policy and a deep institutional crisis.

Macron, who is experiencing his lowest moment of popularity, the one always questioned for being arrogant and disconnected from the street, has entered the same phase as his predecessors Alain Juppé, in 1995, and Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2010, when they also reformed the pensions.

Like it or not, Macron has delivered what he promised.

The question is whether he has squandered all his political capital.

And also if the motions of censure that are expected against his government will go ahead.

As the then Prime Minister Michel Rocard said in 1991, “a pension reform is enough to blow up several governments”.


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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-17

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