By Michel Rose and Elizabeth Pineau
PARIS (Reuters) – Just as France’s top judge defends his widely condemned plan Hours before the reinvigoration, President Emmanuel Macron was his usual defiant self in making people work longer for the state pension.
“Never give up, that’s my motto,” he said during a visit to Notre Dame on the anniversary of the fire that nearly obliterated the country’s most famous cathedral.
Macron’s popularity has plummeted and much of France loathes his pension reforms, but the Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that legislation raising the retirement age by two years to 64 In accordance with the founding charter of the French Republic.
The verdict clears the way for the 15 year-old president to enact laws that provide him with a He then intends to use this political lifeline to push a broader reform agenda.
Macron’s challenge will be to quell widespread anger over his pension reforms and disdain for democracy as he struggles without a final vote given the lack of a majority in parliament. The pension bill was forced through under.
A government source familiar with the executive’s thinking said the president had set his course: measures to improve everyday life, including providing health and education, and Unemployment fell to 5 percent, said Bruno Cautres, a political analyst at Sciences-Po University, a “full employment law” aimed at speeding up the economy.
Macron must also “show goodwill”.
In that spirit, a presidential official said, he invited unions to the Elysee Palace for talks next Tuesday. However, union leaders rejected the offer and said they would keep fighting.
To help Macron’s cause, turnout at protests across the country has fallen in recent weeks. “Even in France, strikes will not go on forever,” said a government official.
The protests show that the French are calling for More social justice, and hints at how he plans to make it happen.
“What does this anger indicate? A sense of injustice. People say: it’s always the same people working, they have to make an effort,” he told TF1 and France 2 explain.
He criticized the “cynicism” of companies that use government money but use their profits for share buybacks, promising to get them to spend more of their money on their employees.
He also reaffirmed a campaign promise to get people on income support to work from 15 to 20 hours to maintain their benefits. Such a measure might be popular with voters on the right, but risks angering the left.
It still needs to pass in parliament, where Macron has lost his majority, and where the debate is increasingly fractious.
The Conservative Republican Party (LR), which the government had hoped to secure support, is deeply divided in the pension reform saga.
“There are big wounds in this country,” LR lawmaker Aurélien Pradié said on Twitter, opposing a partisan reform line that favors pension reform. “You have to be blind or irresponsible to not see reality.”
Four of Macron’s own lawmakers announced this week that they would no longer serve in the party, further weakened his position in parliament.
Meanwhile, relations between Macron and his prime minister, Elizabeth Bohn, have taken a hit. Sources said Byrne was furious at the leaked informal attack on unions by Macron while he was in China and made it public.
So while pension reform is written into the law, Macron still has a lot of political capital to regain.
“It’s a short-term victory,” Harris Interactive political analyst Jean-Daniel Levy said on RTL radio. “His governing style appears solitary, authoritarian and disconnected from reality. This is the main challenge facing a president today.”