Macron, pass, odd and stuck!

France is threatened with blockage. What was just a vague fear is turning into a possible reality for the French. At issue: The impasse reached by the government and the opposition on the reform of the pension system proposed by Emmanuel Macron and heavily refused by the unions and the opposition parties.

It must be said that the days of national mobilization against the reform of the pension system had showered the hopes of the government of Elisabeth Borne and President Emmanuel Macron, of seeing popular protest drop in speed and lose its luster. On the contrary, the French descended en masse and their message of refusal is clearest and most determined.

For Emmanuel Macron, the noose is tightening. Can he continue to ignore this popular movement which refuses his reform and continue to govern as if nothing had happened? Can he run the risk of installing France in a lasting crisis with this posture of defiance launched and assumed almost unanimously by the central trade unions and the opposition parties towards him for the remainder of his second term?

In an attempt to convince and seduce Macron, his government and its communicators plead absolute urgency. Their slogan: Reform or bankruptcy, aims to harangue the hesitant, especially those among the deputies who will have to discuss and vote for this reform.

Moreover, a particular characteristic that marks this sequence, at the moment when the French show their anger in the street with so much force, the parliamentary debate is raging. The oppositions, from the extreme right as well as from the left, are deploying their deterrent capacities to convince of the poor foundation and the iniquity of this reform. The fight is almost daily and the attacks against the government do a certain damage, especially when the governmental plea struggles to convince and to leave a defensive position increasingly difficult to hold.

The situation is such that the two partners in this social crisis have two totally opposite strategies. Everyone will try to play on time and wear and tear in the hope that this will eventually make the opponent give in.

For Emmanuel Macron, we must continue to explain and endorse an educational approach so that the French can finally realize the seriousness of the situation. Alongside this communication mission, Emmanuel Macron is also engaged in an unprecedented exercise for him, that of having to seduce a specific parliamentary group to integrate it into his parliamentary majority.

In the line of fire, the deputies of the Party Les Républicains, the only right-wing and so-called “opposition” party which supports this reform. But there too, the mission is not easy. “The Republicans” do not all agree to support Emmanuel Macron. There are personalities among them who dream of having a fight with the President of the Republic, whom they accuse of having captured their political heritage and their human resources and participated in ensuring that the classic right is so marginalized and so little represented in the public debate.

For the central trade unions, this fourth national day was experienced as the signal of a possible escalation if the government does not back down on this controversial reform. They threaten to adopt an even more radical strategy than that which consists in asking the French to go out to demonstrate in the streets.

A double-edged strategy. Carry out actions that block the economic dynamics of the country. This could cause shortages. And include the principle of the renewable strike in their trade union actions, which could cause paralysis which recalls the dark hours of the hard strikes of the 90s and 2000s and which ended up obliging the governments of the time to withdraw the reform projects , refused and contested by the French.

Emmanuel Macron is in a very unenviable political situation. It cannot maintain this reform at all costs, otherwise it will cause deep splits with public opinion and a political class that rejects it with all its might. And he cannot withdraw it under pain of appearing like the president who recoils before the pressure of the street and who thereby shows a chronic inability to reform France contrary to his numerous electoral promises.

In both scenarios, the face of his second term will be marked. Either by a forceful passage with the political damage that this entails, especially since the opposition of the French to this pension reform will be increased tenfold by their increasingly muted anger in the face of the decline in their purchasing power. Either a political capitulation which will sign the end of its reformist fiber and the victory of the trade union and political oppositions, with all that this implies on a powerless governance, even prevented on what remains of the second mandate.

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