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Pension reform: the press castigates Emmanuel Macron’s “failure” and “weakness”

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The use of 49.3 on the pension reform made the front page of the French press, and also interested the international press. The tricolor press unanimously castigates Friday the use of article 49.3 to pass the pension reform, and points the finger at Emmanuel Macron for the political and social crisis which threatens.

“Admission of weakness”, “failure”, “pantalonnade”: the French press unanimously castigates Friday the use of article 49.3 to pass the pension reform, and points the finger at Emmanuel Macron for the political and social crisis which threatens. The international press is not left out, stressing like the New York Times that “the conflict over pensions reveals a weakened and more isolated Macron”, or Die Zeit according to which “this reform will weigh on the country for a long time” .

“What an admission of weakness!”

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“What an admission of weakness!” exclaims Jean-Marcel Bouguereau in the Republic of the Pyrenees. “The government does not have an absolute majority to pass the flagship reform of the five-year term”, he continues, believing that “it is a huge political crisis which is ‘announcement”. “Zero political gain, major social cost. The failure of a tactic is a sign, moreover, of the glaring loneliness of the President”, writes Florence Chédotal in La Montagne. “Now, how to regain control when the mother of reforms ends up like this?” she wonders, evoking a “disastrous sequence where the fog thickens”.

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“Emmanuel Macron himself is stuck in a political impasse,” notes Patrick Jankielewicz in La Voix du Nord. “If it was necessary to save the pension reform, there was only one way to do it: it was necessary to go to the vote. It was of course to run the risk of being beaten, but in politics, it sometimes it is better to fall with honors than to pass in force and without glory at the risk of throwing gasoline on the social inferno”, he continues.

“Five-year term already over?”

“A question already dominates all the others after this historic day: eleven months after its beginning, is Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term already over?” asks Maurice Bontinck in La Charente Libre, for whom the use of 49.3 “resounds like an admission of weakness of what should be called today ‘the presidential minority'”. “The taste of failure”, title for his part Yves Thréard in Le Figaro, who also believes that “the executive is more than ever weakened”. Same observation for Christophe Lucet (South-West), for whom “it’s a weakened tandem that will have to manage the aftermath”. “The trade union and popular anger which intensified yesterday, after the abortive meeting at the Bourbon palace, is full of threats. With, in the worst case, a prolonged blockage of the country. And if not, a resentment which will find other reasons to express themselves, curbing the reforming will of the government”, warns the editorialist.

Same concern for Liberation, whose editorial by Dov Alfon believes that “it is in instability that (the) ill-gotten pension reform pushes France, its democracy and its workers”. “The President could save the day by announcing that the law will be repealed after this undemocratic passage. But it’s not his style to listen to the French,” he regrets. “Is there still a pilot in the Elysian plane, responsible and down to earth, fully aware of the chaos he is creating in his own country?” asks Olivier Biscaye (Midi Libre). “Emmanuel Macron wanted to mark history, he has just won the pompom of the trouser suit”, he castigates.

“The incendiary of the Élysée”

“Regime crisis”, title for her part Maud Vergnol in L’Humanité. “With this new recourse to 49.3, the divorce between our institutions and the people is consummated, culminating in a creeping crisis of delegitimization of political power, opening a royal road to authoritarian temptations. The incendiary of the Élysée is the only responsible for this situation,” she said. More measured in its criticisms, the international press nevertheless makes the same observation of a weakened president and an explosive social situation in France.

“The Blocked Republic”, headlines Die Zeit, according to which “there are reforms therefore a government never recovers”. “Confidence in the President and Parliament, already at half mast, suffered an additional blow on Thursday. Emmanuel Macron is the first responsible”, judges the German weekly. The use of 49.3 symbolizes “the failure of politics and a deep institutional crisis”, says Ana Fuentes in El Pais.

For this former correspondent in Paris of the Spanish daily, “Macron, whose popularity is at its lowest, always questioned for his haughty character and disconnected from the street, entered the same phase as his predecessors Alain Juppé, in 1995, and Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2010, when they also reformed pensions.”

Source: Europe1

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