Macron wants to appease the population with more reforms – Dagsavisen

The idea is that new political measures will be discussed and adopted during the hundred day reconciliation period.

– Before us are one hundred days of reconciliation, unity, ambition and action for France, the president said in a televised speech late on Monday.

In his speech, he defended the pension reforms he was able to push despite staunch opposition.

– Gradually working more also generates more wealth for our entire country, said Macron.

Invitation declined

The president hopes to meet leaders of the trade union movement for fresh talks on Tuesday.

But they refused the invitation. Thus, only employers’ organizations intervened to discuss with Macron.

The CFDT chairman of France’s largest trade union, Laurent Berger, was not impressed by the president’s televised address. The union summit described it as void of content.

– It’s just a form of emptiness, there’s nothing there. We expected something else, said the CFDT leader.

Berger said the union did not want new talks with the government before May 1. New massive demonstrations against pension reform are then planned.

Hundreds of thousands on the streets

The essence of the reform was that the retirement age was raised from 62 to 64 years. Macron believes this is absolutely necessary to keep the pension system afloat as the population ages.

However, very many French people do not believe this argument. Opinion polls consistently show that the majority oppose reform.

Across France, there have been widespread protests against changes to the pension system. More than 700,000 people took part in nationwide demonstrations in late March, according to figures from the authorities.

13,000 police officers were dispatched, and several hundred people were arrested.

– Turned his back

The pension reform has been sharply criticized by the political left, but also by the outer high wing.

– Macron chose to turn his back on the French and ignore their plight, said Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party.

Not only were the reforms criticized, but also the way they were implemented. Macron will have to use special procedures to push it without a vote in the National Assembly.

On Saturday night, the reforms officially went into effect, having been approved by the Constitutional Court.

Critics claimed that Macron had smuggled pension reforms into law in the middle of the night.

New steps

The president himself lamented that it was not possible to get greater support for reform.

– Have these reforms been accepted? Definitely not, he acknowledged in Monday’s speech.

Over the next few months, he wants to negotiate on issues such as income levels, economic inequality, and improving working conditions. He also announced new measures to limit illegal immigration and juvenile crime.

At the weekend, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the government would continue to pursue new reforms as the pension reform was adopted.

– We are determined to increase the pace in the coming weeks and months, he said.

Lance Heptinstall

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