Pensions: Emmanuel Macron gives in on consultation, but remains firm on reform

Posted Sep 29, 2022, 7:10 PMUpdated on Sep 30, 2022 at 7:07 am

Move on and too bad if it has to take – a little – more time. Advancing grouped, too, while the terrain outside the majority is already particularly slippery. But above all, do not give the impression of the slightest setback. This was what Emmanuel Macron wanted to do after the dinner organized at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday evening around him and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on the pension reform.

With this summit meeting, it was also a matter of getting out of the upper hand in the internal struggle of the majority on the method and the vehicle for the reform, with two lines of confrontation: those ready to go quickly this autumn and the supporters of more consultation – “that is to say, do nothing”, mocks a minister – with the president of the Modem, François Bayrou, in the figurehead.


As of this Thursday morning, the head of government announced a new round of consultation on pensions with the social partners and the political groups of Parliament. In the process, she brought together at Matignon the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, and that of Relations with Parliament, Franck Riester, to organize these discussions which must, Olivier Dussopt indicated Thursday morning on LCI, begin “next week” with the social partners.

The objective, specified Elisabeth Borne, is to take stock “before Christmas” in order to prepare a text to be adopted “before the end of winter”, while keeping the timetable for implementing the reform from of the summer of 2023. “We chose dialogue and consultation”, underlined the head of government.

“Reasonable” this period of three months of consultation, reacted the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux. Relieved to see the hypothesis of a “forced passage” disappearing, with a reform by amendment to the Social Security financing bill (PLFSS), the unions, suspicious, are waiting for the government to do proof of “loyalty” and meet on Monday.

Postponement of the age to 65 years

The Prime Minister highlighted for this consultation the “long career system”, hardship, “the prevention of wear and tear at work”, “subjects of end-of-career planning, and transition between employment and retirement”, “employment of seniors”, “special schemes”, “revaluation [à 1.100 euros, NDLR] of the minimum pension for people who have had a full career” and, “in general, the adaptation of the parameters to ensure the financial balance of the system”.

She also recalled that there will be on the table the “gradual postponement of the starting age by four months per year, culminating in 65 years in 2031”. It’s a red flag for the unions and Emmanuel Macron himself had been open in his second round campaign to a milestone at 64 years old. But it is a question of displaying a strong will for reform, while giving a little time to dialogue. Something to satisfy everyone in the majority, including François Bayrou on the method. “It doesn’t matter to win or lose, smiles a support from the president of the Modem, especially when you win. »

“Chick! »

History – risky – to put the whole system under pressure, Emmanuel Macron clearly indicated during this dinner that in the event of censorship adopted, there would be the immediate dissolution of the Assembly. A threat that targets LR. “If they are opposed to a reform that, roughly speaking, they defend every year in the Senate and which was in their presidential campaign six months ago, their few moderate voters will come to us and the others will go to Marine Le Pen “says a guest at Wednesday’s dinner. But the warning is also intended to close ranks in the majority.

Senate President LR Gérard Larcher had to recognize on Thursday that “the inspiration of the executive is not very far” from that of the Senate, when the boss of LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, admitted that the opening of the consultation constituted “progress”, without wanting to “give a blank check”. On the left, the Nupes wants to “fight project against project”. As for Marine Le Pen, who will oppose any pension reform, she replied, on a possible dissolution: “Chiche! » Difficult movement battle ahead.

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