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“This reform so badly put together embodies the limits of a macronism incapable of reforming itself”


VSis a presidential gimmick. ” I changed “, repeated Nicolas Sarkozy, without these declarations of intent being followed up. He too, Emmanuel Macron never ceases to promise the advent of a “new method”. Criticized for his supposed Jupiter-Caesarism, his solitary and vertical practice of power as well as his propensity to look down on intermediate bodies, the president has tried on several occasions to make amends. This was the case during the crisis of the “yellow vests”, the episode having, he said, “transformed”. This was still the case during the health crisis, where he called on each other to “reinvent”, adding “me first”.

In 2022, this promise of methodological change was one of the leitmotifs of his campaign. On the evening of his victory, April 24 at the Champ de Mars, Mr. Macron renewed his promise of a “redesigned method”, announcing a more horizontal presidency. On the day of his investiture at the Elysée, he explained that this “new method” supposed ” associate ” elected officials, social partners and associations, would be the basis of a “new social contract”, THE “foundation of the democratic renaissance”. “The French are tired of reforms that come from above”, he added on June 3.

Almost a year later, the pension reform, adopted thanks to 49.3 when it crystallized against it the opposition of all the unions and three quarters of the French, casts a veil over these declarations of intent. On Wednesday, during his televised address, Mr. Macron nevertheless mentioned once again this “new method”. But as he extended his hand to the unions, inviting them to return to the negotiating table to discuss with them several issues related to working conditions, he could not help but send a tackle to the leader of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, accused of not having known ” propose[r] a compromise ” on pensions, taking the risk of radicalizing the demonstrators.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Pension reform: singled out, unions exasperated by Emmanuel Macron

Errors, inaccuracies and blunders

Basically, he didn’t give in either (“I assume”), defending the ” need “ of reform and playing the party of order against the “factious”. While the progress of the text, so badly started from the start, was marred by errors, inaccuracies and clumsiness on the part of the government, he confessed no regrets. At most he deplored the fact of not having been able to convince of its merits. Tuesday evening, in front of the parliamentarians of the majority received at the Elysée, he even gave in to one of these “little phrases” that he likes, warning that ” the crowd “ – who manifests – had no “no legitimacy in the face of the people who express themselves sovereign through their elected representatives”failing to recall that the latter had not been able to vote for or against the bill, finally adopted thanks to 49.3. “He says ‘I’m right’, without indulging in any mea culpa, neither on method, if on substance”, observes pollster Brice Teinturier (Ipsos), according to which the presidential remarks were not “likely to appease the social climate”.

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