Pension reform in France: Emmanuel Macron says he has no regrets, or almost

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Pension reform in France : Emmanuel Macron says he has no regrets, or almost

French President Emmanuel Macron during an expected television interview in which he defended his pension reform.

French President Emmanuel Macron finally broke his silence on Wednesday after weeks of intense social tension, saying he had little or no regrets about the unpopular pension reform, which he wants to see applied “before the end of the year”. #x27;year”.

The Head of State simply conceded a possible regret, that of not having succeeded in convincing people of the need for this reform, during the #x27;a television interview during which he repeated the arguments to justify the new law.

This reform is not a pleasure, it is not a luxury, it is a necessity, he commented, again invoking the need to respond to the financial deterioration of pension funds and the aging of the population, France being one of the European countries where the legal retirement age is the lowest.

The law provides for the raising the legal age from 62 to 64.

A demonstrator holds a mask bearing the image of French President Emmanuel Macron during a mobilization against the pension reform.

I am not seeking re-election [… ], but between the short-term polls and the general interest of the country, I choose the general interest of the country, said the Head of State.

“If unpopularity has to be endorsed today, I will endorse it.” »

— Emmanuel Macron, President of France

Emmanuel Macron also insisted that the reform must be implemented before the end of the year to get things back in place .

The long-awaited interview with the president, which lasted 35 minutes, made both the opposition and the trade union world jump.

The herald of the radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, fourth in the 2022 presidential election, denounced the traditional marks of contempt and the arrogance of Emmanuel Macron who, according to him, lives outside of all reality. /p>

He is in absolute denial, criticized the leader of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, in the National Assembly.

“I'm afraid he put more explosives on an already well lit inferno.

—Olivier Faure, First Secretary of the French Socialist Party

There is also indignation on the side of the unions, which for two months organized and supervised a large-scale peaceful protest.

Mr. Macron's statements are outrageous and contemptuous for the millions of people who demonstrate, reacted the general secretary of the CGT union, Philippe Martinez. It's lunar, this interview. It's: “Everything is fine, I'm doing everything well, nothing is happening in the street.” There is no answer, he denounced.

The boss of the reformist union CFDT, Laurent Berger, for his part accused the president of lying regarding his organization's position on pensions.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing party “La France insoumise”, was indignant at the pension reform during a press conference organized on Wednesday in Toulouse.

On the eve of a new national day of trade union mobilization, the Head of State confirmed that he was neither going to dissolve the National Assembly nor reshuffle the government, nor call a referendum on his decried reform.

He was also unmoved by the criticisms leveled at the government for his forced passage, the executive having exacerbated popular anger by using a constitutional provision, article 49.3, which allows the ;adopting a text without a vote, because he did not have a majority ready to vote the text in the Assembly.

So far peaceful and framed by the unions, the protest has shown signs of radicalization since the use of 49.3. Tense exchanges oppose demonstrators and police every evening, especially in Paris.

Tuesday evening, 128 arrests were made in France, bringing to nearly a thousand the number of people arrested since last Thursday.

Protesters denounce the pension reform and the use of article 49.3 during a demonstration in Lyon.

When the United States of America went through what it went through on Capitol Hill, when Brazil went through what it went through […], I tell you very clearly, we cannot accept either rebels or factions, observed Mr. Macron in reference to insurrectionary episodes that have occurred in these two countries. We will not tolerate any overflow, he then insisted.

Strikes and blockades continue elsewhere, particularly in the oil depots. Incidents erupted on Tuesday in Fos-sur-Mer, near Marseille, where the authorities requisitioned striking staff at a time when 12% of the country's service stations are running out of gasoline or diesel.

The port of Marseille-Fos, one of the largest in France, was completely blocked during a day of action dead ports in the ;CGT union appeal and a highway in the Marseille area was closed due to pallet and tire fires lit by protesters.

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