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The French Constitutional has in its hands the unpopular reform of Macron's pensions


The pulse in the street continues with another day of protests and strikes on Tuesday and between episodes of violence and complaints of police abuse

Members of the French Constitutional Council, in an official image of the French institution.

Laurent Fabius and Alain Juppé, veteran French politicians who dreamed for years of being president of the Republic, have the future of Emmanuel Macron in their hands.

Fabius, Juppé and the other seven members of the Constitutional Council, the equivalent of the Constitutional Court, have been examining since last week the flagship project of Macron's second term: the pension reform, which has unleashed the biggest political and social storm in years. Recent in France.


wise men

, as they are known in France, have until April 21 to decide whether the law that will increase the legal retirement age to 64 respects the 1958 Constitution. They could amend the entire text.

Or just surgically remove some items.

The first option would leave Macron touched for the last four years in power.

And it would mean a victory for the vast majority of French people who oppose the reform.

The second option would allow the president to enact the law and try to turn the page.

Pending the decision, the pulse on the street continues.

The unions have called for this Tuesday the tenth day of strike and demonstrations.

A poll by the Ifop institute, published this Sunday, places the National Rally, Marine Le Pen's far-right party, as the one that has benefited the most from the crisis.

If the legislative elections were held now, the RN would be the formation with the most votes in the first round along with the New Ecological and Social Popular Union (NUPES), the left-wing alliance led by the party of the anti-capitalist and Eurosceptic Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Both formations would get 26%.

In the last legislative elections, the RN obtained 19.2% and the NUPES, 26.3%.

The macronistas would go from 26.9% to 22%.

The reform was adopted in Parliament last Monday after a bumpy legislative journey and among massive protests that in recent days have ended with clashes between protesters and police and complaints of police abuse.

On March 16, after verifying that he did not have enough votes to adopt the reform in the National Assembly, Macron resorted to article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows a law to be imposed without a vote.

The opposition responded with two motions of censure, but lost them.

Later he presented appeals before the Constitutional Court.

Laurent Berger, general secretary of the moderate CFDT union, has suggested a way out.

"We could ask not for the withdrawal of the law, but for its suspension," he told Le Grand Continent

magazine this weekend


“This would allow us to search and find smarter social engagement.”


Le Journal du dimanche

, the government spokesman, Olivier Véran, accepted the outstretched hand, but added: "We will not agree on the postponement [of retirement age] to 64 years."

Macron has said that, after the Constitutional is pronounced, he will promulgate the law so that it enters into force before the end of the year.


The main objection raised by the appeals to the Constitutional Court is that the Government chose to include the reform in a law for rectifying financing of social security, instead of drafting a classic law.

It is, according to the plaintiffs, a legislative trick that violates the Constitution.

"A manipulation of the procedure", according to the resource of the left.

"A misfit legislative vehicle for pension reform," according to the far-right.

Another objection is that the Government framed the legislative process in article 47.1 of the Constitution.

The 47.1 allows limiting the parliamentary debate to 50 days, with strict deadlines for each parliamentary chamber.

What happened was that the term in the National Assembly expired before the deputies could have voted.

The law then went to the Senate, which approved it.

Upon returning to the National Assembly, Macron ordered his prime minister to activate 49.3 and prevented the final vote.

The fact that the reform was presented as a financial law also facilitated the use of 49.3, since this article can be used as many times as you want with financial laws, but only once per course with the rest.

All this, added to the incomplete information that, according to the plaintiffs, the Government provided to parliamentarians, violates the principles of "clarity and sincerity" of parliamentary debates.

Another objection is that the Government introduced measures that do not fit into a financial law.

For example, the obligation for companies with more than 300 employees to disseminate indicators on older employment.

In addition to the appeals against the pension reform, the Constitutional Court is examining a petition to organize a national referendum that would limit the retirement age to 62 years.

This route requires collecting almost five million signatures in a period of nine months.

The members of the Constitutional Council are appointed for nine years on the proposal of the Presidents of the Republic, the Senate and the National Assembly.

Of the nine current members, six are men and three are women.

Five are ex-politicians and, of these, two macronistas, two conservatives and one socialist: Fabius, the president of the institution.

Fabius, like Juppé, were foreign ministers and prime ministers.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-27

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