Pensions: the Senate votes the extinction of special schemes
The Senate, with a majority on the right, voted Saturday evening the extinction of several special regimes. This is one of the most sensitive measures of the pension reform project, as pressure mounts in the streets and businesses before the mobilization of March 7.
Electricians and gas workers, concerned like the RATP by this disappearance of their regime, began a renewable strike on Friday. It leads to reductions in electricity production in several nuclear power plants, without causing cuts for customers.
Call for “responsibility”
On tour in Africa, the head of state said on Saturday that he had “not much new to say”. Gabriel Attal raised his voice against the unions: it is “the French that they will block” and “the workers that they will bring to their knees”, declared the Minister of Public Accounts, calling on opponents of the reform to ” the responsibility “.
The mobilization of March 7 against the postponement from 62 to 64 of the legal retirement age promises to be massive. According to police sources, the intelligence services expect between 1.1 and 1.4 million demonstrators throughout France. The intersyndicale will meet on Tuesday evening to decide what to do next.
In an interview with Le Parisien, the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt, former socialist, defended a “left-wing reform that could have been carried out by a social-democratic government”.
The left, which has largely occupied the field in the Senate since the start of the debates on Thursday, has nevertheless argued all day against the first article of the government bill which provides for the gradual extinction of five special regimes (electricity and gas industries, RATP , Banque de France, clerks and employees of notaries, members of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council). The right being almost absent from the discussion.
“You want to obstruct, we don’t”, released the leader of senators LR Bruno Retailleau on Saturday. “You have decided to ‘border’ a major sector of our energy sovereignty”, launched the president of the PS group Patrick Kanner to the address of the Minister of Labour. “You are going to go down in history as the gravediggers of our social protection”.
It is expected that agents recruited from September 2023 will be affiliated to the common law scheme for old-age insurance. Bruno Retailleau wants these special schemes to be abolished for current employees as well, but his proposal will be examined later. The government is against, and its amendment could be rejected, for lack of support from the centrists.
Asking all French people to make an effort
For the left, the end of special regimes is “an ideological and demagogic proposal”, which will not generate financial gain. The trades concerned “are they as difficult yesterday as today? “, retorted the general rapporteur Elisabeth Doineau (Centrist Union). “We have to open our eyes, we are asking for efforts from all French people, whoever they are”. The debates will continue this Sunday on article 2, also sensitive, concerning the employment of seniors.
The climate hitherto very balanced was tense on Saturday evening, around an imbroglio on the publication of an “opinion” of the Council of State on the bill, insistently requested by the left. The Minister of Labor assuring him that it is a “note” which does not have to be published.
The fit of tension was brief, far from the permanent heckling that had prevailed in the National Assembly. In a forum at the JDD, four former presidents of the Assembly, Bernard Accoyer, Claude Bartolone, Jean-Louis Debré and François de Rugy have also denounced “a distressing spectacle”, calling for “respect the National Assembly and its president “.