March 28, 2023

Before the mobilization in the street on Tuesday, the deputies kick off the debates in committee on Monday on the highly contested pension reform project, with opposition increasingly raised by the unfailing firmness displayed by the government.

From 9:30 a.m., the sixty or so parliamentarians from the Social Affairs Committee will work, article by article, on the text which provides for a decline in the legal age from 62 to 64 and an acceleration of the extension of the duration of contribution, before the test in the hemicycle from February 6 on the flagship reform of the second five-year Macron.

As of Sunday, the tone frankly went up a notch after the declarations of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, assuring that the postponement of the age of departure is “no longer negotiable”, and that of the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin accusing the Nupes of wanting to “border the country”.

From her stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais), the patron saint of deputies RN Marine Le Pen warned the Prime Minister who “should not go too far, because, gone as it is gone , it is not at all impossible that his pension reform will not be voted on”.

– Chin bump –

LFI coordinator Manuel Bompard criticized Elisabeth Borne for “puffing out his chest”, adding: “They want to force through, so the best response will be millions of people in the street on Tuesday”.

Even the executive vice-president of LR Aurélien Pradié criticized the “chin blow” of the Prime Minister and the “agitator” Gérald Darmanin who throws “oil on the fire”.

In any case, time will be counted at the Palais Bourbon. The deputies have until Wednesday 8 p.m. to vote on the approximately 7,000 amendments tabled, the vast majority of which by the left alliance Nupes.

This is far from the 22,000 amendments in committee on the previous reform attempt of 2020, but the deputies risk not being able to go through with it.

The tight deadlines are imposed by the vector chosen by the executive, a draft amending budget of the Sécu, which limits to fifty days in total the debates in Parliament.

The exchanges could be particularly tense on Tuesday, day of national interprofessional mobilization. After that of January 19, which saw 1 to 2 million people demonstrate against the reform, the unions hope to do at least as well, in view of a rise in power of the movement. A hope reinforced by polls attesting to a growing rejection in public opinion.

While the strike promises to be very popular in transport and at school, neglecting these “large-scale mobilizations (…) would be a fault” for the government as for Parliament, warned the secretary general on Saturday of the CFDT, Laurent Berger.

– Hold the trench –

The left curries a “solitary, unfair and unjustified” or even “anti-women” project. Its elected officials oppose the 64-year-olds as a whole and refuse to obstruct, avoiding purely formal amendments. “We are going to adapt our tactics as we go along, we want article 7 to be discussed” on age, indicates the Insoumise Clémentine Autain.

RN deputies fight the postponement of the age, but reserve their forces for the hemicycle.

For its part, the right, whose votes are crucial for the text to be adopted, is raising the stakes. The LRs have requests for women with chopped careers, those who started working at the age of 20, on family rights and again a postponement of the entry into force of the reform.

The presidential majority is not to be outdone, but has been asked to curb its ardor to maintain the financial balance of the reform. The idea of ​​stronger constraints around the employment of seniors in large companies is however gaining ground at Renaissance.

Whether or not it is adopted in committee, the draft will be presented in session on 6 February. It is the initial version that will be submitted, without the amendments adopted in committee. This is the rule for budgetary texts.

Two weeks of exchanges are scheduled in the hemicycle, with in the arena the Ministers of Labor Olivier Dussopt and Public Accounts Gabriel Attal, facing deputies promising to “hold the trench”.

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