France: The battle for pensions is launched at the Assembly – Monde

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Let’s go for a long marathon with an uncertain outcome: the pension battle started on Monday in the Assembly in an already electric atmosphere, the government touting an “immense ambition” in the face of an opposition that intends to torpedo a reform deemed “ unjust ”with a cloud of amendments.

The brand new Minister of Health Olivier Véran defended a project announced “for a long time” which “has the legitimacy of a presidential program”, at the opening of the debates on this highly sensitive reform, wanted by Emmanuel Macron and which aims to create a “universal pension system” by points.

The “walker” has just succeeded Agnès Buzyn who took the head of the LREM campaign for Paris, after the Griveaux affair. His speech, preceding that of Secretary of State Laurent Pietraszewski, was quickly interrupted by cries of the opposition. “Do not start, you will have hours, days and nights to snap into democracy,” said Richard Ferrand (LREM) from the perch.

“Dead day” in transport

After weeks of protesting the reform on the street, the call for a “dead day” in transportation was little followed on Monday. Several hundred people took part in a “symbolic” demonstration and a left-wing “People’s Assembly” was held near the Palais Bourbon, awaiting another interprofessional day on Thursday.

Opponents have not said their last word, while 41,000 amendments have been tabled, almost twice as many as in a special committee that could not complete its work, an unprecedented fact.

For the time being, fifteen days of debate are scheduled, or 84 hours. Faced with a calendar deemed “untenable”, Richard Ferrand proposed a “scheduled time” of 100 hours over three weeks, but the LFI and PCF deputies refused.

Before the avalanche of amendments from the left, Laurent Pietraszewski mocked the “robots of a Taylorist organization of obstruction”.

Majority officials hammer that recourse to 49-3 – a weapon of the Constitution which allows adoption without a vote – “is not the objective”, but “walkers” do not exclude it if the debate is “clearly impossible”.

“It will be your political Waterloo!” warned LR Damien Abad on Monday. It would even be “delirium” for the number one CFDT Laurent Berger.

The government is still counting on a first reading adoption before the municipal elections in a month and hopes for a final green light “by the summer”.

“A life of hell”

Despite some internal questions and dissonant voices, the majority want to bring to fruition this reform of “social progress”, “against winds of obstruction and tides of amendments”. Right and left denounce, they, a “contempt” of the Parliament and a project “nebulous” and “with holes”, with in particular the thirty ordinances programmed.

The three groups on the left – PS, PCF and LFI – are counting in addition to the amendments (almost 37,000 between them three) on a motion of censure at a date which remains to be determined. They also tried in vain on Monday a “referendum motion”, which is used to ask the President of the Republic for a referendum. It was rejected by 160 votes to 70. So many “delaying tactics” for the government.

The boss of the rebels Jean-Luc Mélenchon has promised to hold “the trench” until “victory” against “the most terrible social decline in the whole of the Fifth Republic”, his colleague Eric Coquerel promising to lead “a life of hell” by the majority.

Communist deputies

The Communist deputies, who wore “Referendum” t-shirts in the corridors of the Assembly, also defended a motion to reject (rejected by 145 votes to 68). Their spokesperson Pierre Dharréville castigated a “monstrous” project and called on the government to end the “torture”.

“You are not up to the social history of this country”, replied the boss of LREM Stanislas Guerini, judging that “the left which opposes everything, it is useless at all”.

As for the LR group, which intends to embody “a third way”, it criticizes like the left the “amateurism” of the government, in particular on the question of financing. “Nothing is clear, everything is to be reviewed,” launched the deputy of the Vosges Stéphane Viry, also defending a motion of rejection (retoched by 145 votes to 94) entitled “Hear this France that thunders”. (Afp / nxp)

Created: 17.02.2020, 20h31

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