Retreats: on the eve of a decisive day, anger and resentment

On the eve of a decisive day with the debate on the motions of censure, the anger of the opponents of the pension reform remains strong, pushing the union leaders to demand that the text be abandoned, for fear of a lasting “resentment” in population.

It “seems impossible” to Isabelle Deprez, a mathematics professor, to end her career “at 64 without harming (her) health”. “It’s the anger that lives in me, a cold anger but an immense anger”, tells AFP the 54-year-old professor, who demonstrates Sunday in Lille.

For Laurent Berger, number one of the CFDT, “we went from the feeling of being despised to a feeling of anger, in particular because we deprived the employees of the result of their mobilization”, namely, according to him, the rejection of the text in the National Assembly if it had passed to the vote. The government has chosen to resort to 49.3, which exempts it from such a vote.

“The growing resentment and anger must serve the mobilizations in a peaceful framework and not be politically exploited”, adds the leader in an interview with Liberation.

Anger and resentment that the presidential majority also seems to perceive. The patroness of the Renaissance deputies Aurore Bergé judges that the votes on Monday on the motions of censure will be a moment of “clarity”, and that it will then be necessary to “rebuild the link” with the French.

– Targeted –

After several days of mobilization and demonstrations, at the call of the inter-union bringing together all the major organizations, the recourse Thursday to article 49.3 of the Constitution by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, set fire to the powder.

Since then, organized or spontaneous gatherings have taken place throughout the territory, calmly or with excesses. Sunday evening, several hundred people gathered around the vast Parisian shopping center Les Halles, chanting anti-Macron, anti-police and anti-49.3 slogans.

The demonstrators questioned by AFP during the rallies in France indeed express anger, but march, for the most part, calmly, with slogans and signs.

Philippe Martinez, at the head of the CGT, says “not to understand” that “the government and especially the President of the Republic do not take our alerts seriously”. “It is the responsibility” of Emmanuel Macron “if the anger is at these levels”, according to him.

The President of the Republicans, Eric Ciotti, reported on Twitter that his parliamentary office in Nice had been stoned overnight from Saturday to Sunday to, according to him, “put pressure” so that he votes Monday for the motion of censure. Other offices of pro-reform elected officials have been targeted in recent days.

The two motions tabled, by Liot (Freedoms, Independents Overseas and Territories) and by elected representatives of the National Rally (RN), will be debated and put to the vote of the National Assembly from 4:00 p.m.

– First day of the baccalaureate –

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire thinks “there will be no majority to bring down the government”. “But it will be a moment of truth. Is the pension reform worth yes or no, the fall of the government and political disorder? The answer is clearly + no +”, declared the minister to the Parisian on Sunday.

Blocking of oil storage facilities in Port-la-Nouvelle, March 19, 2023 (AFP – RAYMOND ROIG)

For the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, who has been carrying out this reform for months, “of course, a motion of censure can always be adopted” in the National Assembly. “But for that it would have to bring together a coalition of + against +, of + anti +, to obtain a very heterogeneous majority without a common political line,” he told the Sunday newspaper.

Monday will also be the first day of the 2023 baccalaureate specialty exams, for nearly 540,000 high school students, against a backdrop of strike threats by supervisors.

The Ministry of Education will mobilize additional supervisors in order to “allow the conduct of the tests in the best conditions”. In case of delay due to a transport strike, there will be an adjustment of the test time so that the candidate can work for the planned duration.

This strike also affects cities in the region: in Rennes, garbage cans have been piling up on the sidewalks for a week and in Nantes since at least March 15.


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