"The increase in the retirement age, erected as the keystone of the new mandate, has become a trap for Macron"

EIs it because Emmanuel Macron is having so much trouble considering his own that the pension file is turning into a psychodrama? On paper, however, nothing seems insurmountable: if we refer to the latest forecasts of the Pensions Orientation Council (COR), the system, surplus in 2021 and 2022, will return to deficits next year. to remain permanently unbalanced. The report mentions a deficit range of between 7.5 billion and 10 billion euros in 2027. The financing need would then be between 12.5 billion and 20 billion by 2032.

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We must therefore act without delay by choosing the least bad solution from a well-known panel of previous governments since all have come up against the same demographic reality: France is aging and the relationship between working people and retirees is deteriorating. To ensure the sustainability of the pay-as-you-go scheme, it is necessary either to lower the level of pensions paid to retirees, which is socially unacceptable, or to increase the financial burden on working people, which is particularly tricky in a period of inflation, or to lengthen the duration of working life.

What should only be a discussion of common sense, admittedly difficult, is turning into a political showdown because, on Monday, September 12, before the Presidential Press Association, Emmanuel Macron mentioned the hypothesis of acting through an age measure as soon as the discussion, this autumn, of the social security financing bill.

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Right away, his MoDem ally François Bayrou stood up against the lack of consultation while Laurent Berger saw in it a casus belli. On France Inter, Sunday September 18, the general secretary of the CFDT warned that in the event of immediate action his troops would be in the street and that his trade union would boycott the national council of the refoundation which started with difficulty on September 8. The whole tone of the five-year term now hangs on the decision to be taken in the coming days by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne.

A political ball

If such a point of tension has been reached so quickly, it is because the pension issue is not just financial. From one five-year term to another, it has turned into a political ball, both an emblem of the disappointments aroused on the left by Macronism and a symbol of the political contradictions in which the President of the Republic finds himself entangled.

The disappointment, on the left, comes from the failure of the first project, that of 2017, which Laurent Berger had initially supported because the objective was not to rebalance the system but to correct its most glaring inequalities. . Retirement by points made everyone dangle the possibility of managing their active life as they see fit.

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