the debates get bogged down in the Senate, renewable strike in the energy sector
Even before reaching the first article of the government bill, devoted to special schemes, the debates on pension reform were already bogged down on Friday March 3 in the Senate. On the ground, the social showdown has begun, with a renewable strike launched in the energy sector.
The debates get bogged down in the Senate
Two weeks after the tense debates in the National Assembly on the bill and concluded without a vote, the discussions got bogged down in the Senate before even getting to the heart of the reform. After the rejection on Friday morning of a request for a referendum carried by the left, the parliamentarians began with the introductory article on the deficit forecasts, voted only in the evening after numerous interventions from the left, radically opposed to the passage legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years old.
The debates resume on Saturday morning, with the first article providing for the gradual end of the special regimes of the RATP, the electricity and gas industries, the Banque de France or the clerks and employees of notaries. The left opposes their deletion and has tabled some three hundred and fifty amendments on this single article. On the right, the leader of the senators Les Républicains (LR), Bruno Retailleau, wants the abolition to concern not only future recruits, as provided for in the government text, but also employees already in office.
The elected representative of Vendée has tabled an amendment to this effect, which will however not be examined before the debate on article 7 of the reform: the flagship measure postponing the legal age of departure. “My amendment proposes a convergence [entre les régimes] until 2040, there is nothing brutal whereas for all French people, from 1er September, the reform will gradually begin to apply”he argues.
The government is against it and the Retailleau amendment could be rejected, for lack of support from the centrists. The Senate has until March 12 at midnight to try to complete the first reading of the twenty articles of the text and the nearly 4,000 amendments.
Renewable energy strike
Four days before the big “blocking” called by the unions for March 7, the mobilization began on Friday among electricians and gas operators, with cuts in electricity production in several nuclear power plants to protest against “the debate that opens in the Senate” on special diets, announced the CGT. These actions, closely supervised by the manager of the high and very high voltage line network RTE, generally do not lead to outages for customers.
The EDF website listed Friday load drops in several power plants. Those of Flamanville (Manche), Paluel (Seine-Maritime) and Saint-Alban (Isère) were affected by reductions equivalent in total to just over 1,000 MW, i.e. the power of a nuclear reactor, but the movement “aims to expand”, according to the CGT. Friday evening, the four reactors of the Tricastin power plant (Drôme) in turn suffered cumulative load drops of around 1,800 MW.
This movement was originally supposed to start on Monday evening, with a view to putting “France at a standstill”, Tuesday. But the examination by the Senate, as of Saturday, of article 1 of the pension reform project relating to the abolition of special regimes, including that of electricians and gas workers, set fire to the powder. The sector fears that this regime will disappear and with it, in the long term, its protective status intended to compensate in particular for the time constraints of these trades.
On March 7, three hundred and twenty gatherings expected
Interrupted for several weeks by the school holidays, the series of mobilizations against the pension reform will therefore resume on March 7, a day of mobilization against the pension reform during which the inter-union calls for France to be put ” off “. According to police sources, the intelligence services expect between 1.1 and 1.4 million demonstrators in France on Tuesday, including 60,000 to 90,000 in Paris. In the capital, the procession will parade from Sèvres-Babylone to Place d’Italie. According to another police source, three hundred and twenty rallies are planned throughout France.
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“Block everything you can” from March 7, rebellious leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon urged Friday evening in front of students in Paris. After the trade union mobilization of March 7, that of women, on March 8, that of young people, on March 9 and that for the climate, on March 10, the triple presidential candidate said to form “the wish that we call very quickly for another mass gathering! A Saturday ! ».
A sign of the major disruptions to be expected on March 7, the Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, invited all French people who can to telecommute on Friday. Ile-de-France Mobilités, the Ile-de-France transport operator, has announced that it offers carpooling to passengers registered on certain platforms. On the eve of this strike, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, will speak on France 5 in the program “C à vous”.