He Senate approved the controversial pension reform raised by the French Executive of Emmanuel Macron. The decision of the upper house was given after the positive vote of 195 membersagainst 112 against and despite the multiple days of protest that flooded the streets of the country in recent weeks.
“An important step has been taken. We are fully committed to allowing a final adoption in the next few days”declared moments after the resolution was known the prime minister Elizabeth Borne while the Socialist Senator Monique Lubin lament: “It is a black day for all employees in the country.”
To achieve this result, the Executive activated a accelerated procedure that allowed him to debate the project a day in advance and, thus, dodge numerous amendments filed by the opposition.
After this important step, the project will continue its course towards the National Assembly, where will it be reviewed from Wednesday by a joint committee of legislators from the lower house and the upper house that will seek an agreement on a common version. Subsequently, it will be subjected to final vote in both chambers of the Legislative Branch, something that could take place as soon as Thursday, if there is a positive result from that debate, or it could last until March 26 at the latest.
However, the outcome in the lower house still seems uncertain as Macron’s party needs the votes of its allies to win a majority. That is why his cabinet has already started talks to ensure this second key moment for the project.
In any case, in the case of not being able to gather a common view that will ensure a majority in the final vote, Borne could resort to a little-used and highly controversial constitutional tool known as the article 49.3which guarantees that legislation is approved without a parliamentary vote.
The project seeks Delay retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030 as well as raise from 42 to 43 the minimum age to access the collection of a full pensionwith a view to being applied in 2027. According to the Executive, this is a crucial reform in order to achieve a balanced budget in the future.
In this sense, in the Senate, the macronista bloc benefited from the support of the conservatives of The Republicanswhose leader, Bruno Retailleaudefended the reform as something imperative for save the country from the “demographic shock” that the evolution of the population will imply in the coming years.”The main act of solidarity is to guarantee the balance of the system”, the French Minister of Labor had previously defended in the Senate, Olivier Dussopt.
However, much of the society French, with strong support from the unions and even of youths ha refused the proposal.
“I don’t want to work my whole life and be exhausted at the end. I don’t want my parents to die working.”declared one of the adolescents who participated in the marches this past week, which have been organized since January 19.
The climate of tension rose to its maximum days ago when a group of trade unionists sent a letter Macron requesting a meeting and a referendum on the subject and he denied both. “For us this lack of response represents a democratic problem and will lead to a situation that can become explosive”mentioned the letter sent to the Élysée Palace.
(With information from Reuters, AFP and EFE)
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