By deciding to use Article 49.3 of the Constitution to have the pension reform project adopted by the National Assembly on Thursday, March 16, for lack of an assured majority, the Prime Minister provoked the ire of the opposition and many French people. Thousands of demonstrators marched spontaneously in a tense atmosphere. And Elisabeth Borne finds herself in the hot seat.
She tried to negotiate the support of the Republicans, without success. Elisabeth Borne failed to obtain enough guarantees for the pension reform to be adopted in the National Assembly by vote of the deputies. And at the last moment, the Prime Minister therefore decided to use the weapon of the 49.3 THURSDAY.
Interviewed for a few hours on the TF1 evening newspaper, Elisabeth Borne did not want to question her strategy, observes Valerie Gas, Head of the Political Department of RFI. Even if it did not work on the pension reform, even if the concessions made to the Republicans did not make it possible to secure the vote, even if the dialogue with the unions was broken, even if the French are mainly hostile to the reform, it recognizes no error in the method.
The use of 49.3, yet a symbol of the failure to unite around the text, the head of government even presents it as a simple step. ” VSa allows opposition parties to submit a motion of censure which will be voted on. This vote, ultimately, will be that of those who are for and those who are against the reform “, she said on TF1.
Even if she knows she is weakened – in private, she even mentioned being a “fuse” – the Prime Minister minimizes the political consequences of 49.3. Elisabeth Borne acts as if a vote on a motion of censure which would not result in bringing down the government could be likened to a vote for reform. At the risk of giving a little more of an impression of disconnection.
Motion of censure in the Assembly, clashes and bitterness in the streets
Before returning to the Palais Bourbon for another stormy day in the hemicycle this Friday, March 17, Jean-Luc Mélenchon announced that the group La France insoumise (LFI) will support the motion of censure of the group of independents ( Liot). ” We have decided to give the greatest possible chances to censorship, and therefore to withdraw our motion of censure in favor of that of Liot “said the former presidential candidate at the microphone of France Inter.
Thursday, the founder of LFI was, among other political figures, in the street to protest against the use of 49.3. In the afternoon, several people met at Place de la Concorde in Paris, right next to the National Assembly where the government had just started the article which added a little oil to the fire indicates Amelie Beaucourof the Political Department.
” It’s hard to accept. I think he really wants shit, there’s no other words, I’m sorry. There, it will set fire to the powder everywhere “, confided a demonstrator, summarizing the state of mind that reigned on the spot.
In the early evening, the police had to intervene to disperse the crowd: water cannons, charges, tear gas… But some demonstrators took refuge in the surrounding alleys. The images have gone around social networks: trash cans used as barricades on fire, shattered windows… Scenes that also took place in Marseille, Nantes or Lyon. Firefighters in Rennes, Brittany, announced Friday morning that they had to put out around fifty fires in the city center. Mortar fire would also have been observed towards the CRS.
According to the Minister of the Interior, 310 people were arrested on Thursday, including 258 in Paris. Fearing a hardening of the movement, Gérald Darmanin asked several prefects to strengthen the protection of parliamentarians, of their permanence in the region, but also of their homes. The next major event is announced for Thursday, March 23.
Speech to follow for an Emmanuel Macron in a delicate position?
Emmanuel Macron, he stayed away from the battle. But it is of course his strategy that is in question, decrypts Julien Chavanne of the Political Department: too far to the right, without a clear line on the objective of the reform, with vague communication, without a compass…
The hesitations of the President of the Republic came to light on Thursday March 16. It took him no less than three meetings, the last a few minutes before the start of the session at the Assembly, to make his decision, under pressure and in a weak position.
Emmanuel Macron could speak again soon to try to launch the rest of this five-year term, despite the pension crash. Olivier Véran, the government spokesperson, insisted on France Inter on Friday: the presidential camp has “ vocation to continue to govern “.