Pension reform: the government’s plan to avoid 49.3

At the end of 2022, after endless days of negotiations and long nights of parliamentary poker, the relative majority had indulged in a little recklessness. As a Christmas present, the Prime Minister had received and then put on a jersey from the France team flocked with a 49 in front and a 3 behind. A gift from his government team, in reference to the 10 49.3 drawn by Elisabeth Borne to push through his two budget bills.

A few weeks earlier, relatives of the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, had offered her a bottle of wine with an explicit label, there too: “Cuvee 49.3”. Schoolboy jokes to lighten the atmosphere of a stifling start to the five-year term. A few moments of relaxation immediately denounced by the opposition. “The question is not whether Borne supports 49.3 but until when the French will support 49.3”had tweeted Raquel Garrido, deputy La France insoumise (LFI, Seine-Saint-Denis).

At the start of 2023, the atmosphere suddenly cooled. And a wind of rigor is blowing in the corridors of the Elysée, Matignon and the Palais-Bourbon, particularly since the presentation of the pension reform project by Mme Terminal, Tuesday, January 10. The executive absolutely wants to avoid giving the impression of taking things lightly and going overboard on such a sensitive theme. So each declaration is weighed, each gesture measured. With one objective: to defend the substance, unpleasant with the decline of the starting age at 64, and reassure on the form.

An “indispensable and vital” text

On Wednesday January 11, Emmanuel Macron thus reminded the Council of Ministers of the character “indispensable and vital” of this text for ” to preserve “ the system, while emphasizing “all social advances”according to comments reported by government spokesman Olivier Véran. “It is the future of one of the hearts of our social model that is at stake”, said, for his part, Terminal, Wednesday morning, during the meeting between the different parliamentary groups of the majority.

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Before the presentation of the text in the Council of Ministers, Monday January 23, and while the unions, totally united, organize a first day of demonstration, Thursday January 19, the battle of opinion has entered its most active phase. A crucial sequence to pass this reform which mixes “the technical and the intimate”according to a ministerial adviser.

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Pension reform: the government’s plan to avoid 49.3