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Pension reform: Emmanuel Macron concentrates social protest against his person


Before his interview with the “13 hours” of TF1 and France 2, Wednesday March 22, the Elysée had made it known that the President of the Republic wished to address the “territories” by choosing this time and this format. Some of those close to the Head of State had also hoped for a moment that this show “appeases” the climate. Thursday evening, at the end of the ninth day of mobilization, Emmanuel Macron and his Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, were able to see that the street had not calmed down: more than a million demonstrators marched in France (1,080 000 according to the Ministry of the Interior; 3,500,000, according to the CGT). Violence, sometimes filmed live on social networks and feeding the banners of continuous news channels, took place on the sidelines of many processions. And in ” the territories “medium-sized cities once again mobilized strongly.

A week after using 49.3 to get the pension reform adopted, Emmanuel Macron is sinking into a very dangerous face-to-face with the street. On Thursday, the President of the Republic had to dive back into his international agenda by attending the European Council in Brussels. The Head of State was informed all day and in the evening of the course of the ninth day of mobilization but he did not speak, twenty-four hours after his return to the arena. His long-awaited interview – around 11.5 million people watched it – put him back in the front line. In the processions marked this time by the importance of young demonstrators, his face was present on many placards of opponents.

“Macron, contemptuous of the Republic”could we read. “Macron, the factious are annoying you”, had imagined others, in reference to a formula of the President of the Republic, Wednesday. As if his words had made things a little worse. ” I have the deep conviction that he humiliates us, that he does not listen to the French peoplelaunched Martine Aubry, socialist mayor of Lille and former Minister of Labor, at the start of the demonstration in her city. Talking about factionalism is unacceptable from a President of the Republic. »

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In the procession of the demonstration against the pension reform, in Besançon, March 23, 2023.

The climate of tension around the pension reform deteriorated further on Thursday. While the images of police violence against protesters during parades have multiplied and a woman had her thumb torn off in Rouen, according to the mayor (PS) of the city, Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, the head of state and the Elysée did not react officially. His entourage rather evoked the scene of a CRS knocked out by a projectile in front of the cameras, recalling that “the forces of order were facing very violent individuals”.

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