Bruno Le Maire assumes 49-3, mocks the “clownish hitch” of the opposition

Work more for those who can, in order to keep a social model of pay-as-you-go pensions in balance. This is the justification of the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire for resorting to 49-3, detailed in an exclusive interview granted to the Parisian. An article whose announcement of activation on Thursday March 16 sparked strong opposition everywhere in France, again this weekend.

His reasoning is simple. For lack of sufficient support from Les Républicains “who have been lacking”, the boss of Bercy exonerates an executive who “has taken on his responsibilities on a vital text for the nation” according to him. The activation of 49-3 to get the pension reform voted on set fire to the powder in an already tense economic and social context. But for Bruno Le Maire, it remains a “democratic tool inscribed in the Constitution”, deemed useful in this case.

Pension system deficit

If the pension system had a surplus of 0.9 billion euros in 2021 compared to 2020 – when the Pensions Orientation Council (COR) forecast a deficit of nearly 0.4% of GDP – the latter projects a fund deficit of 0.5 point of GDP to -0.8 point of GDP until 2027, according to its latest published in September. By 2032, the accounts would widen further, and the system would be insolvent on average over the next twenty-five years. So much for the part of the pensions financed by the State (civil service and special regime of the SNCF, the RATP, the mines, the sailors or even the workers of the State).

Only pension expenditure financed by contributions from working people, and therefore by GDP, would be globally stable, according to COR projections.

“I understand the concerns and anxieties of our compatriots, but it is not by denying the economic realities that we will get better”, explained Bruno Le Maire in The Parisianpraising more generally a French “social model” of the most generous in the world.

The debt is soaring

If the 2023 Budget confirms France’s leading position in public spending, the country’s debt is also soaring… up to 24 billion euros compared to the 2022 Budget.

Read alsoPublic spending: What if the French didn’t have (too much) to complain about…

It is this debt, fueled by the rise in interest rates and ECB refinancing, themselves regulated to fight against the inflationary wave, that the Minister also put forward to justify, among other things, the use of 49-3.

Post-retirement is already on the table: full employment, decarbonization of the economy, energy sovereignty… “There is no shortage of projects, our ambition is collective”.

“Clowning hitch”

“We do not play a coin toss for such a decisive reform for our nation”, he castigates, he who fully assumes the choice of the majority. It undoubtedly refers to the votes of the missing Republicans, “yet elected on a project to postpone the legal retirement age to 65”.

“Let’s stop with the ball of the hypocrites!”. The depreciation is clear and also addressed to the centrist formation Liot, which tabled a cross-partisan motion of censure carried by the deputy of the Navy Charles de Courson. The latter will be examined Monday at 4 p.m. in the Assembly, with that of the National Rally.

Read alsoWhy Macron will be forced to dissolve the Assembly

“Mathilde Panot, Marine Le Pen and Charles de Courson, allies to bring down the government and form an alternative majority” is “a clownish hitch!” In the eyes of the politician. “LR deputies who are crying out for the restoration of public finances but are tabling amendments to several billion euros: what hypocrisy again”, he expresses. Concerned with a very specific goal: “The only winner must be France”.

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