Unions warn Macron that he is playing “with fire” with his pension reform


A few hours after the start of a new demonstration against the pension reform proposed by the Government of Emmanuel Macron, the French unions criticized what they consider an attitude of “provocation” of the French Executive, for continuing without listening to the strong social rejection of his projectbefore which they have been asked not to “play with fire” because the mobilizations will continue.

“What else is there to do?” Philippe Martínez, leader of the combative CGT, asked himself from the head of the demonstration that is preparing to tour Paris this afternoon, in which the seventh day of great national mobilizations against the reform of the retirement system since January.

Martínez went further and pressed so that, if the Government is so sure that its initiative is necessary and is the only possible one, that it consult the citizens. “Today the only thing we can say is: if (Macron) is so sure of himself, to consult the French“, challenged the leader of the CGT, in response to the immovable position adopted by the French president against the demands of the unions, which this week unsuccessfully asked to be received at the Elysée.

“Those who run this country must stop this form of denial of the social movement“, stressed, for his part, Laurent Berger, general secretary of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), also from the demonstration in the capital. Berger also appealed for a consultation with the French and warned the Government of that “by dint of playing with fire, fools are made”.

The unions indicated that today they expect a great day of protests, because the support for the social movement against the pension reform is, in the words of Martínez, “more than absolute”. They also ensured that, despite the fact that the parliamentary process of the project continues through an accelerated procedure, the battle is not yet lost.

In any case, the workers’ organizations plan to continue fighting in the streets, but without falling into “violence and radicalism”Berger said.

The main axis of the reform promoted by Macron is to delay the minimum retirement age by two years, from the age of 62 today to 64, something to which all unions are strongly opposed. The Executive’s main argument is ensure financial balance of the system on the horizon of 2030, since, if nothing were done, he estimates that in ten years a deficit of close to 150,000 million euros would accumulate.

The bill is being debated in the Senate, where Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt announced on Friday the recourse to a constitutional mechanism to skip the hundreds of amendments that the opposition has presented with the intention of blocking the processing, and forcing a vote on the text as a whole.

Specifically, the recourse to article 44.3 will allow that vote in the upper house – where the right has a majority– on a text that will only include the amendments proposed or accepted by the Executive. In this way, the scenario in which the end of the term of the Senate would have been reached, on Sunday at midnight, by which the upper house would not have been able to pronounce on the reform, something that already happened in the National Assembly, is avoided. on the first reading. The left-wing opposition has harshly criticized this measure, as well as the unions.

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