President Macron is pushing through the controversial pension reform without the approval of the French parliament. A motion of no confidence is being discussed by the opposition and could be carried out on Monday. Will this still be his pitfall?
For weeks and months, people in France have been protesting against the pension reform planned by President Emmanuel Macron, which is also to be accompanied by a significant increase in the retirement age. Macron, who has not had a majority in parliament since the last elections to the National Assembly, wants to push them through without parliamentary approval. However, this has met with rejection from the opposition. The British Telegraph reports on the reactions of opposition politicians:
“Voting on this motion will enable us to overcome a deep political crisis,” said Bertrand Pancher, leader of the Freedoms, Independents, Overseas and Territories faction in the National Assembly, whose motion was co-signed by members of the broad left-wing NUPES coalition became. Marine Le Pen’s populist National Rallye party also said it would support the no-confidence vote and make its own motion. “This pension reform project has neither social legitimacy, nor popular legitimacy, nor democratic legitimacy,” the MPs wrote. “It would set a dangerous precedent that would allow governments to push through sweeping social reforms through backdoors and coercive procedures that are dangerous to our democracy.”
That is why a motion of no confidence in the President will be debated in the National Assembly this Sunday, which could then be put to the vote on Monday morning. On the other hand, Macron could also dissolve parliament and have early elections held. However, given his party’s lack of popularity, this would likely lead to further losses in the National Assembly. However, it is not certain that the motion of no confidence will find a corresponding majority among the MPs from the fragmented party landscape. In fact, MPs from the extreme left to the extreme right would have to get together for this – including at least half of the MPs from the conservative opposition party Les Républicains.
Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest Macron’s pension reform, and polls consistently show that around 75 percent of French people oppose raising the retirement age. Four-fifths of the French are also unhappy that Macron wants to override parliament in this decision.
In France today, anyone can retire at 62. This reform raises the statutory retirement age to 64 years. You might think that this is very early compared to neighboring countries Germany and Italy (both 67) and Spain and Belgium (both 65). However, retiring at 64 in France does not necessarily guarantee a full pension. Under the reform, people will have to work 43 years instead of 42 to receive a full state pension. This means that most people will not be eligible until the age of 67, rather than 66 as is now the case.
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