The last steps of the Denfert-Rocherau metro entrance are barely walked on when the smell of grilled merguez sausages tickles the nostrils. Three police officers are camped on the right and the horns of the demonstration are ringing in the left ear. No doubt, it’s back to school. In particular, pensions shaken up by the major reform planned by Emmanuel Macron who wants to lower the legal age of departure to 65 by 2035.
More 40,000 people, according to the organizers, marched through the streets of Paris this Thursday, September 29 at the call of the CGT, Solidaires, FSU unions and student and high school student organizations.
The sequel after the ad
> The demonstrators explain to us why they are opposed to the pension reform:
Behind a procession of the CGT, the demonstrators chant “Macron if you knew your reform where we put it” before singing a cover of Daniel Balavoine, slightly modified: “My retirement, my battle”. This is where Lisa, Anto and Fatima, civil servants at the Bobigny town hall, are. “We are already tired, we work a lot, I don’t even know if we will reach 65,” launches Lisa. The three women in their forties find that their purchasing power is diminishing with galloping inflation. “Everything has increased even at Lidl with 100 euros we have nothing”, laments Anto. So inevitably, adds Lisa, the pension reform, “It’s the pom-pom!” “.
“I mainly come for my children”
A little higher, slightly set back from the procession, Bachir and his colleagues chat over a snack and a beer. Some wear hard hats on their heads, proudly representing their profession. They ask for a retirement at 55 because of the hardship of the work done daily. So 65 years… It’s much too far. “We can’t do it in retirement, I’m sorry but we can’t! We contributed our whole fucking life for nothing”, regrets Bachir. ” VSIt’s unfortunate to say it but we die before”continues this 60-year-old team leader on the Greater Paris worksites.
Among the crowd, there are also the youngest, who already seem resigned. ” I am one of those who think that being young and freshly graduated I am not sure that I will one day have the right to retire.explains Antoine, 24 years old and rather pessimistic. “65 years old is a milestone that risks being pushed back over the years”, adds the young man, currently looking for a job in the development of video games. Gilles, he came for his children: “I don’t want to work 3 more years, that doesn’t interest me, that’s for sure. But, I am 50 years old, it will not affect me directly, I come mainly for my children “.
The sequel after the ad
Despite the divisions on the subject, the President of the Republic is already seeing the reform applied. Broadly speaking, Emmanuel Macron’s promises revolve around an extension of working time to 65 by 2031 (i.e. 4 more months per year), the abolition of special regimes and the establishment of a minimum of 1,100 euros for full career retirement pensions.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne as well as government spokesperson Olivier Veran have recalled in recent days that the objective was to debate a bill in Parliament before the end of winter and to apply this law as soon as summer 2023. For this, all means seem permitted. The government has not ruled out the possible use of Article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows a text to be adopted without a vote except for a motion of censure. Emmanuel Macron even brandished, this Thursday, the card of the dissolution of the National Assembly if a motion of censure was voted against his government.
“We don’t give a shit about 49.3! »
In the street, the bottom of the reform is far from pleasing, the form also. “The 49.3 is not democratic”, slice Marie-Christine, a 62-year-old trainer who continues to work so that her pension is not “shabby”. For her, “People absolutely have to mobilize, it’s becoming an emergency”. Same story on Antoine’s side. For him, drawing article 49.3 is ” to force the hand on a reform which does not seem to please on the whole “. Most of the demonstrators questioned ask for dialogue, for democracy. “Why don’t we have a referendum on pensions? »launches Sylvie, 65 years old and retired for a year and a half.
Emmanuel Macron and pensions: the bulldozer strategy
The shadow of 49.3, widely criticized, does not however scare the demonstrators. “We won’t let it happen, we don’t give a damn about 49.3”, criticizes Bashir. Before adding: “We will be out to defend our snack, to try to reach retirement alive. » An anger that does not seem to reach the top of the state. Thursday evening, Olivier Véran, confided to the microphone of BFMTV as an epilogue to this day of mobilization that the government “don’t be afraid of the French”. Then to justify himself: Not making unpopular decisions means not living up to the mandate entrusted to us. » The showdown has only (re)begun.