before the mobilization of March 7, the government feverish in the face of the “blockage” announced

before the mobilization of March 7, the government feverish in the face of the “blockage” announced

Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labor, and Gabriel Attal, Minister in charge of Public Accounts, during the presentation of the pension reform project in the Senate, March 2, 2023.

An endless day. The government expects to experience a nightmare scenario described as ” very difficult “, nearly two months after presenting its pension reform: the national strike on Tuesday March 7, and its repetition for days in several sectors. There “shutdown” renewable in transport, refineries and nuclear power plants may “bring the economy to its knees”, even threatened CGT federations. What to seize the power of an anguish of shortages and cascading troubles, vectors of political stagnation. “There is the 7, but especially the after 7”summarizes Clément Beaune, Minister of Transport. “The real battle is the duration: the challenge is not just the show of force of the 7, but the 8, the 9, the 10…”anticipate Stanislas Guerini, his colleague in charge of the public service.

Elisabeth Borne had opted for a low profile strategy: let the storm pass while the text continued its way to the Senate, until March 12. Since Matignon, everything has been done to put out the fuse of an accelerated end to the special regimes, lit by the right Les Républicains (LR), which is stirring up anger in transport and energy, while EDF agents have began the strike Friday in the nuclear power plants. Helped by centrist senators, the government sticks to the gradual end and the “grandfather clause”.

Similarly, Matignon avoids agitating the threat of requisitions, while his partner LR is already demanding “block blockers”. “We are not going to scream before we are in pain”, temporizes Clément Beaune, anxious not to throw oil on the social fire. The same calls to avoid the chaos of“an irresponsible or blocking movement”while the strikes in the refineries this fall had triggered a serious shortage of fuels.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Pension reform: the government has the first measures of its project adopted in the Senate


The government is anxiously monitoring the signs suggesting a mobilization likely to run out of steam: strike rates lower than those of past major strikes, notices given in scattered order, a month of “Red March” marked by soaring food prices which weighs on the wallets of the French… “We can avoid a scenario like in 2019 and 1995”positive the Minister of Transport, in allusion to the long weeks of blockage in the face of these attempts at reform, which were ultimately aborted.

In uncertainty, the government clings to its agreement with the right LR to show that the debate in Parliament does not escape it. “Article 7 will be voted on in the Senate”assured the leader of the senators LR Bruno Retailleau on Sunday, in the Grand Jury of RTL, calling on Emmanuel Macron to ” hold on “ on raising the legal age to 64. Open to creating a premium for mothers, hesitating on an expensive “CDI seniors”, the executive power, however, risks losing the financial pillar of the project. For the first time, Olivier Dussopt told the Parisian that the reform may not ensure the balance of the system in 2030. A “slight deficit” 300 or 400 million euros would be acceptable, explains the Minister of Labor, in comparison with the status quo. “There is much worse than asking the French for effort, it is asking them for nothing! »launched the senator Bruno Retailleau at the podium, on March 2.

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