Deficit: the majority divides, the government threatened

Bruno Le Maire announces ten billion euros in savings on

Much higher than government forecasts (4.9%), France’s deficit – 5.5% of GDP in 2023 – can have potentially explosive consequences.

The French government cannot do anything other than say it, he is looking for ten billion euros in savings for this year, twenty billion for next year. With this budgetary slippage, the financial consequences can be terrible. On April 26, two rating agencies, Fitch and Moody’s, will examine the rating of the exorbitant French debt, of more than 3,000 billion euros. This shows that the pressure is strong and to this is added a delicate political context.

Convince your own majority

It’s already starting internally. On April 2, the Prime Minister had to, like the previous week, arrive early at the National Assembly. Gabriel Attal was forced to invite himself to the traditional meeting of groups of Renaissance deputies, forced to reassure his troops, divided on the method to adopt to find money.

The most left-wing elected officials are wondering about the Attal line. When the latter refuses tax increases, several Macronist deputies call for the introduction of a tax on superprofits. In their ranks, we find in particular Yaël Braun-Pivet, the president of the National Assembly.

Another notable divergence: unemployment insurance reform, announced by Gabriel Attal on TF1, at the end of March. If the Prime Minister defends himself from a financial measure and pleads for an accident of the calendar, some on the left wing fear that this will not be perceived differently “ as savings on the backs of the unemployed “.

To reassure, the head of government said he was ready to soften his reform – potentially reducing the duration of compensation to 14 or 15 months compared to the 12 initially envisaged. He also announced the creation of a “task force”, a group of deputies responsible for thinking about what he calls “taxation of annuities”. We must understand: undue income thanks to the Ukrainian crisis, particularly for energy companies.

Suspicious, several deputies boycotted this Tuesday’s meeting. One of them, contacted by RFI, is particularly annoyed by “ excessive communication » by Gabriel Attal. He also wonders if it is he who decides on economic policy, being surprised by the confidence placed in the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, who, according to him, “ a lot of responsibility » in the state of public finances.

The boss of Bercy, who is aiming for a candidacy in 2027 and although reframed several times at the end of March by the president, actually allows himself some liberties. The latest, a column published on April 2 in the echoes in which he categorically refuses any tax increase and qualifies the effects of a tax on income. Atmosphere.

The right ready to overthrow the government

The other threat, taken very seriously by the executive, is the motion of censure envisaged by Les Républicains (LR), a party historically attached to budgetary rigor. The president of the LR openly mentions this possibility, it remains to be known the calculation of Eric Ciotti’s troops.

Is it to force the executive to include in an amended finance bill, the savings measures defended each year by the Republicans during the examination of the Budget? Is LR sincerely considering dismissing the government to impose a prime minister from his family? Without ruling out the risk of dissolution.

And then what tempo, when to table this motion? NOW ? At the risk of being accused of being opportunistic as the Europeans approach. After the elections? Before or after the Olympic Games? Uncertainty is skillfully maintained and there is concern in high places.

The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire tried to bring together several LR executives last week to start negotiating. They politely turned him away. The next few weeks promise to be full of turbulence.