The French Senate steps forward and approves the pension reform
The seventh day of mobilizations called by the unions and which led to a million French to go out This same Saturday he received a harsh response, the French Senate approved at the last minute the controversial pension reform project promoted by the government of Emmanuel Macron, despite strong popular discontent.
The text, which was debated by an accelerated procedure activated by the Executive to dodge numerous amendments filed by the opposition to hinder the debate, received the support of 195 senators and 112 votes against.
The first reactions of the Government celebrating the decision did not wait and, just a few minutes after the vote, the French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, celebrated the “decisive step” towards a reform that will “guarantee the future” of French pensions. “Fully committed to allow a definitive adoption in the next few days,” Borne remarked, via Twitter.
The macronista block benefited from the positioning in favor of the conservatives of Los Republicanos, whose leader, Bruno Retailleau, defended a reform of the retirement system as something imperative to save it from the “demographic shock” that the evolution of the population will imply in the coming years. “The main act of solidarity is ensure the balance of the system“, the French Labor Minister, Olivier Dussopt, had previously defended in the Senate.
In the opposite camp, the socialist senator Monique Lubin assured, in her last turn to speak, that this Saturday she will remain as a “black day for all wage earners” from the country.
The text of the pension reform will be debated on the 15th in a mixed joint commission to agree on a common version that must then be validated, starting on March 16, by both chambers. In the National Assembly, which previously failed to vote on the entire bill at first reading, the vote is expected to be tight. At the earliest, the final vote would be possible that same day and the maximum period is until March 26, at the end of the day.
The main axis of the reform promoted by Macron is push back the minimum retirement age by two yearsfrom the current 62 years to 64. The Government defends the changes as the only feasible way to guarantee the financial balance of the system by 2030, since, if nothing were done, it estimates that a deficit would accumulate in ten years of about 150,000 million euros.
The debate this Saturday was held while, in the streets, thousands of French they went out to protest against the reform convened by all the unions, who reject this reform head-on.
It was the seventh day of mobilizations since the Executive revealed the details of the project, last January, and had less follow-up than on other occasions.
Despite this, the union leaders assured that the French rejection of the reform is “more than absolute” – polls show that the vast majority of citizens are against it – and challenged the president to call a referendum.
For next Wednesday, coinciding with the examination in joint mixed commission, the unions have already called a new day of mobilizations.